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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 8 Sep 2004
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rabies in India

Am going to spend 3 months in the south of India on bikes with husband and 2 children. Does anyone know whether the medicine for rabies is widely available there, and what is the likelyhood of getting bitten by a rabid animal there (but then again, who would have thought that someone would die from it in Scotland last year!!!)... we have to make the big decision on vacinations, especially the rabies one. Any other recommended vacines? We are doing the obvious ones... thanks
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Old 5 Oct 2004
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Rabies is preventable with a shot in the arm and the vacine lasts for 3 months , available at any travel clinic or you GP.

In this case prevention is essential; as cure is often difficult and very very painful. Rabies serum is adminstered post bite into the scotmach muscles where it the virus multiplies. The course of injections is horrifically painful and usally is 4 a day for about 3-4 days. The cure is not garanteed.

So get you and the kids jabbed before you go, The same goes for any other dieasie that can be enocluated for. Especialiy Measles Mumps and rubella if you kids did not have MMR.

MMR is worth the risks what ever the junk scare mongers say. I had mumps at 25 and now cant have kids. Measles kills thousands in the 3rd world.

BD
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Old 5 Oct 2004
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You are granteed to be bitten at some stage my an animal or scratched by a cat. I was bitten in Indo by a large dog who chased me while on a push bike. It took a large lump out of my leg, I was glad I was immunised.
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Old 6 Oct 2004
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I expect a doctor could better answer your questions but, I understand that the Rabbies vac gives you extra time to find a doctor to beging the course of injections. I had to take a Japanese tourist to a clinic last year after he was bitten by a dog in northern greece. They began rabies shots immediately but they jabbed him in the arse not the stomach..I expect in Europe at least the Vacs are a little more sophisticated than a few years ago.

IMHO take your malaria pills, not fun.
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Old 7 Nov 2004
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We are heading to Asia next week. We went to the doctor and they said the recommendation was only if you are working there or with animals. However, who knows when a dog or monkey etc may jump out and take a chunk. Better safe than sorry I reckon!!! We had a series of 3 injections which lasts for 2 yrs. You still have to have injections if you are bitten!!!!!
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Old 11 Nov 2004
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I am not sure about India.

I had an horrific experience of rabies in Northern Thailand about 25yrs ago. A refugee in a camp in which I was working developed rabies several months after he was bitten during a fishing trip. For safety sake and because there was no benefit in doing otherwise he was sedated up to a fatal level.

I believe that a course of three injections with the modern vaccine is safe and effectve protection.
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Old 11 Nov 2004
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Getting my vaccinations at the moment (in London).

Rabies comes as a course of three shots. From what I've been told if you take only the first shot then you delay the 'deadly' period of an infectious bite by a day, if you take the second shot in the course it extends the period by another few days, and if you take the third shot in the course then it extends it to a week.

The timings may be incorrect, but the principle if right. So the difference between having no shots and having the full course of three shots is that you are going to have longer to get to a doctor for treatment. But you still need treatment.

The NHS Scotland website is about the best there is for an explanation of what's needed where. Someone died in London a couple of months back from rabies (like the one in Scotland it was a bat).

I chose to have the course, because I will be away from the populated areas and rabies seems to be a time critical disease. The three shots will give me longer to get help.
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Old 11 Nov 2004
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Yes.

Post-exposure treatment is still needed after high risk exposure even if all three pre-exposure vaccine have been given within the preceding 2 yrs.

This link is good re questions an answers on rabies

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabies/ques&ans/q&a.htm

This site, through the home page, is one of the most respected regarding most travellers medical questions. I think it is the site of the body the UN uses when dealing with questions about infectious disease.
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