The Vaccine Center is a preventative health and wellness company that recommends vaccines based on Center for Disease Control Guidelines (CDC) for general health, travel, work and school. It is recommended that travelers that will be at risk of exposure to Rabies have the Human Rabies vaccine.
Certain Travelers Occupational Risk High prevalence of Rabies within country to be visited Veterinarians Little or no availability for appropriate Human Rabies Vaccine and Rabies immune globulin for post-exposure care Animal handlers Travel to rural areas Field Biologists Embedded within communities Cavers Extensive outdoor activities: Running, bicycling, camping, or hiking. Missionaries Long duration of stay/moving to high-risk destination Certain Laboratory workers Children traveling to high-risk destination (because of smaller stature and curiosity and attraction to animals)
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Yellow Book: CDC Health Information for International Travel 2012. New York: Oxford University Press; 2012
International travelers who are likely to come in contact with animals or who are traveling with children are recommended to have the Human Rabies vaccine. Pre-exposure vaccination may be indicated even for brief stays, if the traveler will be >24 hours from a reliable source of Human Rabies vaccine and Rabies immune globulin. Also, at The Vaccine Center and Travel Medicine Clinic, we provide Human Rabies vaccination to persons who have been exposed to the Rabies virus and need post-exposure vaccination.
The Human Rabies vaccine is not required by any country at this time. This means that a person is permitted to enter the country whether or not they have received vaccination against Rabies. A recommended vaccine is not required but most authorities feel that a high-risk person should receive the vaccine as the likelihood and severity of disease clearly outweighs any risk from vaccination.
Rabies is a very serious life-threatening disease. It is a virus that lives in the rabid mammal’s saliva. Sometimes the virus can be transmitted by exposure other than bites, for example, a scratch or lick from a rabid animal. Animals that are the most common sources of Rabies include:
The virus attacks the nervous system of the victim either rapidly or after an extended period of time. Once the virus attacks the nervous system, it causes encephalitis. Encephalitis is an infection or inflammation of the brain. The disease progresses through stages of fever, weakness or paralysis, spasms of swallowing muscles, delirium, convulsions, and then coma and death. Rabies is almost always fatal if post-exposure treatment is not given in time. Persons who may have been exposed to Rabies must seek treatment immediately as this is medically urgent. Once a person who has Rabies experiences signs and symptoms of the disease, there is no effective treatment and death occurs. More than 55,000 people die of Rabies every year.
Rabies has been noted in history since 2300 BC when dog owners in a Babylonian city were fined due to deaths caused by their dogs biting people. The well-known philosopher Aristotle wrote of Rabies, describing that “dogs suffer from the madness. This causes them to become very irritable and all animals they bite become diseased.” In 400 BC, the Greeks have gods that are especially for Rabies, one to prevent Rabies “Arisaeus” and one to heal Rabies “Artemis”. Rabies first appeared in Europe in the 1700’s, and then in the United States in 1753. In the mid 1700’s in parts of Europe, dogs were routinely slaughtered and rewards were even offered for killing them due to serious outbreaks of Rabies.
Rabies exists in every continent except Antarctica. There are certain parts of the world that are higher risk for humans to contract rabies than others.
Human Rabies vaccination is given in different ways depending on if it is for “pre-exposure prophylaxis” (meaning being vaccinated because you are at high-risk and may be exposed to Rabies) or “post-exposure prophylaxis” (meaning you may have already been exposed to Rabies).
This is advantageous because if a person has the vaccine series prior to travel, and is then exposed to Rabies, the treatment is only 2 more Rabies vaccines. If a person is believed to have been exposed to Rabies and has not had the vaccine series prior to travel, the treatment is very extensive. The treatment includes a blood product called Rabies immune globulin in addition to 5 rabies vaccines. When traveling abroad, many developing countries have no access to rabies immune globulin, making it necessary for an exposed person to be emergency evacuated to another country that does. The emergency evacuation, hospital visit, immunoglobulin, and vaccines would cost thousands of dollars in medical expenses, as well as ruin and end that particular trip.
The Vaccine Center and Travel Medicine Clinic has ALL the recommended and/or required vaccines needed for your travel:
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