It is important to note that Rabies is prevalent in Bali.
As a precaution travelers who intend to handle animals are recommended to ensure their Rabies Vaccinations are up to date!
An outbreak of rabies in dogs has been ongoing in Bali, Indonesia, since November 2008. As of April 13, 2013, more than 130 people have died from rabies in Bali since the outbreak began.
Human and animal rabies cases have been confirmed near popular tourist destinations throughout the island. Efforts, including an annual free government vaccinations program for dogs, have been implemented control the outbreak.
These efforts appear to be helping to manage the outbreak on the island.
(Source: The Global Alliance for Rabies Control).
WHAT IS RABIES?
Rabies is a rapidly progressing virus that causes death. It is almost always spread by an animal bite but can also be spread when a rabid animal’s saliva gets directly into the eyes, nose, mouth, or broken skin. The primary sources of human infection worldwide are dogs and certain wildlife species, such as foxes, raccoons, mongooses, and bats.
How can Travelers Protect themselves?
Consider a rabies vaccine:
• Immunization is recommended before you arrive in Bali, however, if intend to be here longer than 3 weeks you can obtain the immunization here at a cost of approximately $45. The pre-exposure rabies vaccination is a three-shot series (days 0, 7, and 21 or 28) given before travel contact with the animals.
• Even if you receive pre-exposure vaccination, you will still need immediate medical treatment if you are bitten or scratched by an animal.
Avoid animal bites:
• Avoid touching wild animals and pets. Pet dogs in Bali are not always vaccinated against rabies.
• Resist the urge to rescue animals with the intent to bring them home to your country. Dogs and cats may be infected with rabies but not show signs until several days or weeks after you first encounter them. Not to mention that it is illegal to export dogs outside of Bali.
• Supervise children closely, especially around dogs, cats, and wildlife such as monkeys. This is important since children are more likely to be bitten by animals, may not report the bite, and may have more severe injuries from animal bites.
Act quickly if an animal bites or scratches you:
• Wash the wound well with soap and water.
• See a doctor right away, even if you don’t feel sick or your wound is not serious. To prevent rabies, you may need to start a series of vaccinations immediately.
• Before your trip, find out if your health insurance covers health care overseas and medical evacuation.