Precautions to take when encountering animals aboard
Although they might look nice and cuddly, animals can represent a risk when travelling abroad. Dogs are probably the most widely known fear, due to the fact that Rabies, although banished here in the UK, it is still present in many foreign countries.
The deadly danger of Rabies
Animals may be carrying Rabies in their saliva, and if this is the case and you get bitten or scratched by such an animal, you will almost certainly be infected, and Rabies is fatal 99% of the time, unless you have been vaccinated, or it is caught very early. Even if you have been vaccinated and you are bitten, you should still seek medical advice just to be on the safe side.
Beware of bats and monkeys as well as dogs
Of course it’s not just dogs that you should be wary of when travelling abroad. Other animals can carry Rabies too, including bats and monkeys. As well as bites and scratches, Rabies can be transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal if it gets into your eyes or an open wound.
Tips of staying safe around animals abroad
Here in the UK we are renowned for being lovers of animals. In many foreign countries, animals are not held in such high esteem, and there are far more strays roaming around, some of which could be infected with Rabies. So, you need to take care when animals are present. Here are a few tips to help keep you safe.
- Never approach an animal, even if it is someone’s pet
- Do not stroke or touch an animal, even if it someone’s pet
- Keep well away from wild animals, even if they appear to be tame, or injured
- Under no circumstances should you feed any animals
- Be careful when throwing away rubbish that could attract animals
- Take care to keep away from animals when you are cycling or running
Risk of Tetanus from animal bites
Of course it’s not just Rabies that you can get from being scratched or bitten, there is also a risk of Tetanus, so make sure your Tetanus jabs and boosters are up to date before you travel.
Get advice on Rabies from your GP or the Travel Clinic at Broadgate GP Clinic London Wall
Rabies is found all over the world so the best thing to do if you are travelling abroad is to chat to your GP about the risk and the potential need to be given a Rabies vaccination. If you live and/or work in London, you can also get advice and be immunised for Rabies and Tetanus at the Travel Vaccination walk-in clinic here at Broadgate Clinic London Wall.
Rabies can manifest itself anywhere from 3 to 12 weeks of being bitten, so if you have been bitten or scratched by an animal abroad, and you have not been previously vaccinated against Rabies, you should seek urgent medical attention. The Rabies anti-virus injection is effective; but only if administered early.