Rabies Travel Alert Reissued for Haiti
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reissued a Watch - Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions alert for the ongoing rabies outbreak in Haiti.
On July 19, 2022. the CDC stated cases of rabies in dogs had been reported in the area of Haiti's capital city, Port-au-Prince.
It is rare but possible for people to get rabies from scratches or contamination of open wounds, abrasions, or mucous membranes.
The CDC suggests visitors should avoid all contact with dogs and cats, including puppies and kittens, seek immediate medical attention for all animal bites, and consider getting vaccinated against rabies before traveling abroad.
These people should receive rabies pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a series of rabies vaccine doses given before coming into contact with the rabies virus.
Check if the rabies PrEP vaccination is recommended for your intended destination at this CDC weblink.
The rabies vaccine is given in two shots. The second dose is offered seven days after the first dose.
Even if you are vaccinated against rabies, if you are bitten by an animal that may have rabies while traveling, you need to seek medical care immediately and get two booster doses of the vaccine.
According to the CDC, rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that affects the central nervous system.
Without appropriate medical care, rabies causes brain disease and death.
Almost 60,000 people around the world die from rabies each year, says the World Health Organization.
In the USA, human fatalities are rare but typically occur in people who do not seek prompt medical care.
While the exact reason for not seeking care is often unclear, lack of awareness of the risk of rabies is thought to be an essential factor.
In the United States, rabies is primarily found in wild animals like bats, followed by foxes and raccoons.
This is of particular concern since bat bites are often unnoticed as the marks that are the size of the tip of a pencil.
Additional U.S. FDA-approved rabies vaccine news is posted at Vax-Before-travel.com/Rabies.
Note: The CDC information was manually curated for international travelers.