Rabies Vaccinations Across Nottingham, Leicester, Derby and Mansfield

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What you need to know:

Rabies is a fatal viral infection which is contracted when you are bitten or scratched by an infected animal. Travellers who have not had the rabies vaccine and are visiting endemic areas are at risk of contracting this serious disease. Rabies currently has no treatment but the disease can be prevented through vaccination.

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How many doses do you need?

Travellers will need to have a 3 dose course. Injections are usually given over a period of 21-28 days.

How long does immunity last for?

This 3 dose course usually confers protection for some 2-3 years. Travellers who have received the pre-exposure vaccine but have then been bitten will still need to seek medical advice (for post exposure prophylaxis) and attend to their wound in a safe way.

How old to you have to be to have the vaccine?

Children from as early as two years old can be given this vaccine.

Where are the risk areas?

The Rabies virus can be found world-wide, most of the planet is high risk. The low risk areas include mainland Europe and the UK, Australia, North America and Japan. Those visiting resorts and tourist destinations are usually at low risk of infection. But remember: low risk does not mean no risk.


More information:

Early symptoms of rabies are usually similar to the flu, including:

  • fever,
  • headaches,
  • weakness,
  • there may also be pain at the area of the bite.

As the disease progresses symptoms of anxiety, confusion and agitation, amongst others, may occur. With further disease progression, the person may experience delirium, abnormal behaviour, hallucinations, and insomnia. Once the clinical signs of Rabies appear, the disease is nearly always fatal.

Vaccination is crucial as exposure to infected saliva often occurs unexpectedly. Infected mammals can spread the rabies virus through bites, scratches, or even a lick on to broken skin.

Travellers are advised to avoid contact with all animals in infected areas. All mammals are susceptible to the virus including: skunks, jackals, mongooses, foxes, raccoons, dogs, cats, monkeys and bats.

Patient information leaflets: http://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/PIL.21675.latest.pdf and http://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/PIL.17394.latest.pdf