Rabies is very common and it is an acute infection of the central nervous system that is spread rapidly via a penetration of a bite from rabid animals. The virus is spread in the saliva of the rabid animals. All animals are susceptible to rabies, however, the animals that are at most risk of transmitting rabies include: monkeys, foxes, raccoons, dogs, and wolves.
Upon exposure to rabies, the incubation period varies from person to person ranging from 20 to 90 days after exposure. Once symptoms are experienced, rabies is lethal. The initial symptoms of rabies include a fever with pain, unusual or unexpected tingling, prickling or burning at the wound site. As the virus spreads through your nervous system fatal and progressive inflammation of the brain and spinal cord develop.
Traveling to Malaysia
Nowadays, many travelers are visiting Malaysia. Malaysia is a country located in the Southeast Asia and it is known to tourists for its beaches, luxury resorts and rainforests. If you ever traveler to Malaysia, be sure to visit the capital city, Kuala Lumpur known for its busy shopping district and colonial buildings.
Currently, travelers traveling to Malaysia need to be aware of the current Rabies cases. Malaysia presently has had 3 confirmed dog-related cases of Rabies. Rabies in Malaysia is quite uncommon since it is the first 3 confirmed human cases of rabies in the last 20 years. The cases have been reported by the Malaysia’s Ministry of Health presently in Borneo Island.
To fully prevent rabies get the pre-exposure vaccine and take measures to avoid contact with animals. Pre-exposure rabies vaccine consist of three shots and you will need a minimum of three weeks’ time to receive all the three doses as otherwise, it will not be effective.
Other measures to prevent rabies is to avoid touching wild animals, and even domestic ones as pets in other countries may not have received the vaccination. To prevent rabies in children, supervise them around wildlife and prevent them from playing with wild animals. If you are travelling with pets, prevent straying and do not allow your pet to play with local animals. As many animals do not show symptoms for several days, weeks or even months, you may not be aware that an animal you are bringing back with you is infected until it is too late.
Medical Travel Insurance
You may also want to consider medical travel insurance if traveling to at-risk areas, so that in the event of a bite you will receive the immediate care required to prevent rabies. Also, do not take any risks and in the event that you come in contact with any mammals, be sure to seek medical attention right away!
If you have any questions and/or concerns, please be sure to visit our ABC Travel Clinic. With the help of our experienced health care professionals, you can have the peace of mind that you are completely prepared for your upcoming trip, whether for leisure or work.
Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (2017). Rabies information. Retrieved from: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/rabies
Government of Canada (2017), Travel and health safety information: Rabies. Retrieved from: https://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/id-mi/az-index-eng.php#rabies
Shoreland (2017). Malaysia: First human rabies cases in almost 20 years. Retrieved from: https://www.travax.com/whats-new/
Wikipedia. (2017). Malaysia. Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaysia
World Health Organization (2017), Rabies information. Retrieved from: https://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs099/en/