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Staying Healthy on the Road Medical info, e.g. malaria, vaccinations, travel medical tips, medical insurance, where to find a doctor.
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  #1  
Old 5 Mar 2014
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Question rabies? Yes or No?

Hi All,

going through the process of getting injections for trip from Canada to Ushuaia and been told two different things regarding rabies.

1. You need to get it.

2. Don't get it as it only gives you an extra hour to get to hospital for treatment?

What is people advise on this please. What have people done when travelling.

Some people might say just get it and its done ( cost near me is £200 ) is it really needed if statement 2 is true?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 5 Mar 2014
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I believe it's an extra 24hrs, so you'd have 48 vs 24. We opted not to get them and my husband got bit by a dog in Russia. He got treated and had to get shots 5x over the next weeks across the stans. I think if you have been pretreated this cuts the number down to 4 from 5-6.

Eastern turkey up into the caucuses is rough for aggressive dogs, motorbike drives em nuts. But other areas we didn't have nearly as much problem. I remember visiting Ecuador years ago and there were tons of strays. But who knows how docile. At any rate if you ever get bit, do not take any chances & get treated, otherwise that's your a$$! Whether you want the extra time just in case is up to you. Be careful
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Old 5 Mar 2014
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Agreed the extra time is always worth it.. e.g trekking up in the Himalaya, or up on the Pamir Highway, you can be a good day or two from a decent clinic, and can't always rely on helivac due to weather..
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  #4  
Old 5 Mar 2014
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We are embarking on a similar journey to yours on the 18th June. The advice from our local surgery was to get the rabies jabs as it buys you an extra 24 hours to get treatment. We considered the cost of £144 each to be a worthwhile insurance and provides peace of mind.

So far we've paid £408 for jabs for the two of us, certainly more than I had anticipated and worth taking into consideration when financially planning a trip. The only vaccination we can't get right now is Yellow Fever as the local surgery has had no stocks since last September. That, of course, will only mean more money when they do get some.
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  #5  
Old 5 Mar 2014
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I was thinking of posting similar question myself. Wife and I will be in eastern Turkey und into Georgia this year so interesting to see responses to this. So far it looks like we get jabed up !

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Old 5 Mar 2014
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Originally Posted by niello8 View Post
Eastern turkey up into the caucuses is rough for aggressive dogs, motorbike drives em nuts. But other areas we didn't have nearly as much problem. I remember visiting Ecuador years ago and there were tons of strays. But who knows how docile. At any rate if you ever get bit, do not take any chances & get treated, otherwise that's your a$$! Whether you want the extra time just in case is up to you. Be careful
Yep, eastern Turkey has been also for me so far the only place in +50 countries ridden, where I´ve actually been attacked by large dogs that roamed free...... in fact only one mountain pass area or region near Dogubayazit, but it was damn scary! Decided not to stop, just use the horn and go full throttle, and they backed off at the last minute... I don´t know, what would have happened, if I had stopped. I had taken rabies jabs before leaving home.

Do remember, that not only dogs can carry it, it´s also possible to get infected by bats, monkeys and several other animals. Also remember, that their saliva is infectious, so just simply best to completely keep away from any physical contact with animals, no matter how cute. This is something you do NOT want to fool around with, because it is a 100% lethal disease.

Note, that if you are in a faraway area, and suspect you might have got infected, getting somewhere where counter-jabs are available, in 24 hrs, can be hard. That´s when having the jabs beforehand can become helpful (you will still need those extra jabs after a suspected infection, but you have more time to get them).

I would not lose sleep over this, the risk is much smaller than having a bad traffic accident in basically any developing country, for example. Just follow the precautions, and depending on areas, where you´ll be going, make a decision, whether you´ll take the jabs or not.
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Old 5 Mar 2014
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(sorry a bit off-topic, but just asking if anyone has had similar experiences in the place mentioned below?)

Marked with red is where I had my pulse-raising encounter with the big dogs... this was back in 2007, but if my memory serves me right, it was the Tendurec Gecidi pass, where there was a huge old lava flow right next to the road on the Lake Van side. And dogs were only a problem up in the pass area itself, just there where the road goes very very close to the border of Iran. There were some dwellings that looked like shepherd huts, maybe they were actually their dogs:

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  #8  
Old 5 Mar 2014
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Originally Posted by BigPete33 View Post
( cost near me is £200 ) .
What good is money when you are dead? Isn't any trip about (mostly) the celebration of life? and the discovery of amazing lands/customs/people/food/etc etc?

Your health and well being is everything. Without it, any trip, heck, even staying at home, can be hell.

If you ever were so unlucky as to be bitten and infected with Rabies and you were not inoculated, IMHO I'd guess you'd gladly pay £1000 an hour to buy you time before... you died in a terrible and painful way.

Be wise- get your jabs- £200 is nothing compared to the potential consequences of not getting those injections.
That's my 2 pence!
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Old 5 Mar 2014
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Smile 100% YES, get jabbed

I may as well put in my 2cents worth'...yes indeed, you'd be crazy not to get the 'vaccine'

That is some seriously valuable time it can buy you, especially in SA where you can be days away from a doc and a shot. That's 1 cent's worth

My other cents' worth of comments is about what I believe is the over-hype about attacks or illnesses from animals. 10 years on the road continuously...never ONE incident/disease caught from an animal, and trust me, I pat them ALL

HUMANS, on the other hand, now those are the ones we should get vaccinated against. man have I caught some nasty crap from other people ))
Just a thought. Risk is minimal but always best prepared.
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Old 5 Mar 2014
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That area in eastern turkey was the worst, we rode at night and the crazy dogs kept coming out of the darkness. They were almost certainly sheep dogs over there. The best tactic is to keep moving, do NOT stop. Jeff got bit because we were rolling up to a Russian police checkpoint north of vladikavkaz & the cops motioned us to stop. We were attacked by 3 psychotic dogs & the police could not keep them away. We gunned it out of there but when we checked him down the road his leg had some nasty teeth punctures. Fortunately Russian hospitals though crappy, know exactly what rabies is. Needless to say after that I really steer clear of strange animals.

Then...we got to Bangkok and met up with a friend. He told us he had just gotten treated with rabies shots there (which in Thailand is VERY expensive unlike Russia which was always free). He was patting the pet dog of an American embassy worker and it bit him. He wisely took no chances and got the shots.

All y'all animal lovers want to pet anything cute but you can't trust those animals to be disease free. Please be careful. Even if you get the rabies vaccine you still MUST get treated swiftly!
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  #11  
Old 5 Mar 2014
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Originally Posted by BigPete33 View Post
Hi All,

going through the process of getting injections for trip from Canada to Ushuaia and been told two different things regarding rabies.

1. You need to get it.

2. Don't get it as it only gives you an extra hour to get to hospital for treatment?

What is people advise on this please. What have people done when travelling.

Some people might say just get it and its done ( cost near me is £200 ) is it really needed if statement 2 is true?

Thanks.
Pete,
I am not a doctor but a friend of mine is a scientist in charge of a lab where they design these vaccines. I am in the process of getting my Rabies shots for trip to Mongolia! It is a judgement call but this is the whole story; the difference between being vaccinated or not does indeed provide you with a theoretical extra 24 hours... BUT (big BUT) when you are vacinated (3 shots), you only need two more similar vaccine shots 1 day and 3 days after the bite and you are good to go. These additional vaccine shot are (or should) be normaly available in any city! If you plan to go to Brazil, FYI, Brazil is a rabies hotspot.

If you are NOT vacinated you will need a shot with 15ml SERUM (something entirely different) within 24 hours directly into the wound (extremely painfull) and that serum is very difficult to come by in remote area's. A giant country such e.g. Indonesia has none of it! Even here in the Netherlands it is only stocked in three places. Expect that none of it will be available in coutries like Peru and Equador! This means you will need an emergency Medivac to a country where they have the Serum and you will be tied down for minimum 3 weeks for after treatment.

On top of that note that Rabies is the ONLY virus with a 100% mortality rate! No Cure Possible. (Ebola with a mortality rate of some 50% and Marburg with 70% are benigh compared to Rabies)

Now ask your self again!

Cheers,
Noel
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  #12  
Old 5 Mar 2014
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yep I won´t pet animals in faraway countries. But everybody´s free to do as they see fit, this possibility is still good to keep in mind.
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  #13  
Old 5 Mar 2014
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Talking

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Originally Posted by Laura73 View Post
HUMANS, on the other hand, now those are the ones we should get vaccinated against. man have I caught some nasty crap from other people ))
.
This is what happens if you go about 'patting' humans on your travels
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  #14  
Old 5 Mar 2014
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go prepared !

Well I'm in no doubt about my thoughts on this topic now after seeing the references to Eastern Turkey, where the wife and I will be this year.

As well as getting jabbed up, I plan to issue my pillion with spare sausages. These will be deployed when attack dogs are detected in a random pattern from the rear of the bike. Rather like America's "Air-force-One" would deploy ant-missile decoys. Hopefully that will allow safe escape. Now...............? do I cook them first or not?

However...........I'm sure there are far more people pass these snarling dog packs without injury, illness or indeed worse,
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  #15  
Old 5 Mar 2014
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Thanks all for all the info, I will be getting the shots now,

Bertrand The money was never an issue, was just putting it up there for people to know how much it was. I just wanted peoples opinion on what they had done and came across on there travels, as you say how much do you value your life.


@ noel di pietro - very insightful info there, thanks.

@Laura73 - Yes, totally agree there,
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