'Visitors to India should get anti-rabies jab'

Health Ministry: Anyone planning to travel to distant areas where it's too emote to receive preventative care should be vaccinated.

By
June 14, 2012 05:00
1 minute read.
Street dog

Street dog cute 521. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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Anyone who plans to travel to India or to other distant areas – in jungles or treks where it’s too remote to receive preventive care – should be vaccinated prophylactically against rabies, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

The shots are available at clinics for those traveling abroad.

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The recommendation came after a report that a woman who returned to England from India died after being bitten by a rabid dog. She did not seek preventive treatment after being bitten.

Rabies is fatal, but it can be prevented with vaccination even after the bite or scratches. Any traveler who was bitten or scratched by a mammal should go to the nearest hospital emergency room or Health Ministry clinic.

The ministry also reported that on Monday at 9 a.m., a dog in the southwestern part of a village near Moshav Odem, on the northern Golan Heights, was found to be positive for rabies. The dog was medium-sized and grey-black.

Anyone who was in contact with such an animal or others wandering around and with wounds in the region between May 28 to June 11 should urgently contact the district health office in Safed, (04) 699- 4219, or the closest district health office.

After work hours and on weekends, go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

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All dog owners, the ministry said, must check to make sure their animals have been vaccinated. Any person who was bitten or scratched by a mammal should wash the area immediately with running water and soap, disinfect it with suitable chemicals and go to the district health office to find out whether he needs prophylactic treatment against rabies.

The ministry asked that tourists and travelers on the Golan Heights be informed about the incident. Parents should check with their children whether they were in contact with suspect animals, and if so, call the district health office.

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