The Risk of Rabies in Bali — Bali is considered as one of the top tourist destinations in the world, it even named as the number one happiest travel destination, by Club Med. Despite all of the label, Bali also offers serious health risks that are almost invisible, one of them is rabies infection.
Rabies is a viral disease transmitted through the saliva or tissues from the nervous system from an infected animals to another animals, and or to human. The rabies virus attacks the central nervous system causing severely distressing neurological symptoms before causing the victim to die. Rabies is one of the deadliest diseases on earth with a 99.9% fatality rate.
First Aid After Being Bitten by Animals
Generally, doctor will advise those who are bitten or scratched by a rabid animal, to:
- Seek medical treatment directly to clinic or hospital
- Do not wait for confirmation if the animal is rabies infected, or even if the wound is small
- If no clinic available nearby, do first aid by cleaning the wound with running water with soap then apply antiseptic on to the wound
- After wound cleaning, find and consult with physician for necessary further treatment (e.g specific rabies vaccine or serum)
There are three main ways to protect you and your family from rabies: first, reduce incidence of exposure with related animals. In high-risk areas, avoid wild animals and stray dogs, especially when those animals appear in distress or are behaving unusually. The 2 other mays are to vaccinate pets and animals, as well as yourself.
Rabies in in Bali
In Bali, the increase in rabies rates has been linked to the increase in the dog population. Significant efforts have been made by the local governments and Bali-based animal welfare not-for-profit organizations, to eliminate rabies from Bali. The only real effective method of eliminating rabies within any dog community is through vaccination and euthanization of rabid dogs.
Travelers and foreign residents in Bali are reminded to check with their government’s vaccination guidelines as well as advised to consider rabies vaccinations before traveling, if they will be touching animals. While the rabies vaccine does not prevent a person from getting rabies should they be bitten by a rabies-positive dog, it does drastically increase the efficacy of post-infection treatment.
Rabies can only be passed from dogs to humans via salvia or nervous system tissue making contact with open skin, like in the event of a dog bite that breaks the skin.
If you suspect you have been in contact with a dog who has rabies during your holiday in Bali, contact a medical professional as soon as possible, at BIMC Ubud Medical Centre email@example.com.