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  1. #1
    Setting Forth ShacklerViking's Avatar
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    I dont want Rabies!

    Anybody think i need rabies vaccine for touring Canada, Chile and Argentina for 6 months with tent?


    Does it exist any medical drugs to delay the infection if you are bitten by a rabies infected animal?

    My fear if i am in rural areas and there is a long way to get to the doctor. Because they say you have only 24hour to find a qualified doctor if you are bitten.


    There are an estimated 55,000 human deaths annually from rabies worldwide, with about 31,000 in Asia, and 24,000 in Africa. (Wikipedia)
    That means the chances is zero to get rabies as long you are not touring Asia and Africa?

    The vaccine is expensive, the program is 3 vaccines over a certain period.

  2. #2
    Tinkerer since 1980 TheBrick's Avatar
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    A travel immunisation person would be the best person to ask this type of question to.
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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Ummmm ... I've lived, cycled, hiked, and camped in rural Canada now for 42 years, and have yet to encounter a rabid animal.

    Here's a tip ... don't approach wild animals. Don't approach skunks, don't approach raccoons, don't approach foxes, coyotes, and wolves. Keep your distance from wild animals. I know they're fascinating and many people seem to want to have pictures taken with them feeding the wild animal or something like that because it's cute or whatever ... but don't do it.

    As well as keeping your distance from animals, also make sure animals aren't attracted to you. Don't leave food and other scented items lying around your campground to attract the animals to your area.

    A quote from one of the Parks Canada sites: "Be suspicious of any friendly or unusually bold animals. As a general rule, keep a safe distance from all wildlife and remember that it is illegal under the Canada National Parks Act to touch, feed, approach, or entice wildlife."
    http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/yt/ivvavik...a_E.asp#rabies

    Here's another article:
    http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/rech-srch/cl...word=rabies%20

    And here are some charts regarding rabies in Canada ... incidentally, get your info from government sites, etc., not from Wikipedia:
    http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/...g/statse.shtml

  4. #4
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShacklerViking View Post
    Anybody think i need rabies vaccine for touring Canada, Chile and Argentina for 6 months with tent?


    Does it exist any medical drugs to delay the infection if you are bitten by a rabies infected animal?

    My fear if i am in rural areas and there is a long way to get to the doctor. Because they say you have only 24hour to find a qualified doctor if you are bitten.


    There are an estimated 55,000 human deaths annually from rabies worldwide, with about 31,000 in Asia, and 24,000 in Africa. (Wikipedia)
    That means the chances is zero to get rabies as long you are not touring Asia and Africa?

    The vaccine is expensive, the program is 3 vaccines over a certain period.
    I got my rabies vaccine series before my world tour. Go to a clinic which specializes in traveler medical care, give them a lost of your countries visited and tell them you will be doing it by bicycle, and then follow their advice.

    When I got the shots, I was told they have the following advantages:

    (1) without the shots, the series of rabies injections is longer and more painful. (you still must get treated, though, if you are bitten, even with the advance shots.)

    (2) if you get the shots, the need to get urgent medical attention is less urgent...you have a few days breathing room after a bite; in contrast without the shots you need to be treated a.s.a.p. if not sooner.

    (3) Don't trust government reports, especially LOCAL GOVERNMENT reports, that they have 'no rabies' or 'very few rabies' cases, in 3rd world countries. Rabies is bad for publicity, tourism, and image, and thats all these places care about. Thats like the folks in India saying they don't have leprosy, when ya can see (?) (not see?) missing fingers and noses all over the damn place.

    roughstuff
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  5. #5
    GATC
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    Human rabies is rare in all of those countries, but if you really don't want it, get the vaccination.

  6. #6
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    Not sure why you would trust anything you read about rabies on a bicycling forum, but here goes anyway...I was doing some day hikes in Peru last summer and we learned (after we arrived) that rabies are fairly common in the rural areas of Peru and that hikers are advised to always carry rocks with them to scare away *any* approaching dog, no matter how friendly it appears. We subsequently learned that all we had to do was show the rock and the dogs we encountered got the message (apparently all day hikers have been reading the same advice, and the dogs know what rocks are for...).

    The issue is not necessarily that you'll get rabies if bitten -- the issues is that, *if* bitten, you have to assume that the dog DOES have rabies and therefore you need to get treatment in a hurry. That leads to panic, money, a trip that's disrupted, etc.

    That being said - Peru is not Argentina or Chile. South America is a big place, and I couldn't begin to tell you whether the situation is the same as Peru or not. Do some research, talk to some experts. The CDC, U.S. State Department, etc. are good sources for traveler's warnings.

  7. #7
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    ........I was doing some day hikes in Peru last summer and we learned (after we arrived) that rabies are fairly common in the rural areas of Peru and that hikers are advised .....

    The issue is not necessarily that you'll get rabies if bitten -- the issues is that, *if* bitten, you have to assume that the dog DOES have rabies and therefore you need to get treatment in a hurry. That leads to panic, money, a trip that's disrupted, etc.


    .... Do some research, talk to some experts. The CDC, U.S. State Department, etc. are good sources for traveler's warnings.

    Good summary (sorry for the cut and paste). I found concern about rabies to be widespread when I was on the Peruvian part of my tour.

    Again, go to a clinic that specializes in dealing with travelers to exotic places. They'll know the score. One thing i forgot to mention is to make sure ya go early....some of the shots need to be given in a series spread over days or weeks; and they may take a while before they become effective.

    Update this thread with any useful information about the whole deal that any of us may have overlooked!

    roughstuff
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  8. #8
    Senior Member jurjan's Avatar
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    Never trust ANY medical advice given over the web, not even from doctors.
    They haven't seen you, haven't seen your history.
    That said: go to a clinic specializing in travelers (not just exotic places) and ask, it's probably going to
    cost you some dollars (Canadian in your case?) or whatever, but at least you'll get advice that's medically sound.
    and then you can decide whether to get the shots or not (and as others have said: go early, they are a series of shots if I remember correctly).

    but: don't trust us...
    have a nice day,
    Jurjan

  9. #9
    mev
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roughstuff View Post
    Go to a clinic which specializes in traveler medical care, give them a lost of your countries visited and tell them you will be doing it by bicycle, and then follow their advice.
    +1 on going to a travel clinic and following their advice for immunizations, rabies and other things.

    Prior to cycling across Russia, I did that with local travel clinic as part of the county health department. I listened to their advice and updated several immunizations but also decided I'd skip the rabies pre-shots and instead try to avoid getting bitten. My cycling partner did the same (at a different clinic in different country) and also avoided the shots.

    At the end of each day of riding we would have our "water ritual" where we would stop in at a village or other place, talk with locals and see where we could get enough water for cooking, drinking and bathing. On September 1st, we were near town of Apxapa in the Russian far east. The road crossed a large bridge and there were guards watching that bridge. We asked them about water including river water and other drinking water. They offered to fill our drinking water and otherwise indicated to fill up from the river. They had two guard dogs there and as we were walking to the guard house, one of those dogs bit my riding partner in the back of the knee (a bit surprising since we assumed those dogs would be behaved with the guards there). Bandage quickly applied and we camped not far from there.

    Riding partner had a restless night and we decided to go back to the bridge and observe the dogs. We also went back and took turnoff to Apxapa and took a rest day in town to observe things (not sure you can completely tell, but other than small clinic no medical place in this small town - if worst came to worst we'd be less than a day train ride from Xabarovsk). Fortunately, no bad effects. When riding partner returned home a month later, she went to local doctors and they still recommended some rabies shots just in case, so she still went through a painful set of shots.

    So we probably got lucky. We did listen to medical advice an made our best judgment call based on that advice. As I remember it for me, it was a sequence of several shots that would help but still require attention if bitten.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShacklerViking View Post
    Does it exist any medical drugs to delay the infection if you are bitten by a rabies infected animal?
    The drug that is used after getting bitten is called immune globulin. It provides temporary passive immunity that gives your body time to form its own antibodies against the rabies virus.

  11. #11
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mev View Post
    +1 on going to a travel clinic and following their advice for immunizations, rabies and other things.....

    Prior to cycling across Russia....., .....

    They had two guard dogs there and as we were walking to the guard house, one of those dogs bit my riding partner in the back of the knee (a bit surprising since we assumed those dogs would be behaved with the guards there). Bandage quickly applied and we camped not far from there.

    Riding partner had a restless night and we decided to go back to the bridge and observe the dogs. We also went back and took turnoff to Apxapa and took a rest day in town to observe things (not sure you can completely tell, but other than small clinic no medical place in this small town - if worst came to worst we'd be less than a day train ride from Xabarovsk). Fortunately, no bad effects. When riding partner returned home a month later, she went to local doctors and they still recommended some rabies shots just in case, so she still went through a painful set of shots.

    ........ As I remember it for me, it was a sequence of several shots that would help but still require attention if bitten.

    I lived in Russia for two years (Irkustk, Vladivostok) and toured there in my summers (usually near Lake Baikal and the Sayan mountains. I had alot of trouble with dogs, but was never bitten by any of them. Most dogs in Russia receive no immunizations for anything--rabies, distemper, whatever-- and it is best to give them wide berth. Probably was a good idea for your buddy to get her shots, as i believe rabies (now?) has a slow developing, long term chronic version?

    The acute form is now seen largely among politicians!

    You are correct: you still need attention after being bitten even if ya do get the preliminary shots. My preliminary shots were two 'bubble type' injections in my forearms, about 2 weeks apart or so. They didn't have any side effects, though I did notice i was tempted to scratch behind my ear with my foot, lift my leg while urinating, and sniff other people's butts. These soon passed however.

    roughstuff
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  12. #12
    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
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  13. #13
    imi
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    I've considered getting the vaccinations numerous times, but ended up being too stingy as they are fairly expensive... but now I'm beginning to reconsider (again

  14. #14
    imi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roughstuff View Post
    They didn't have any side effects, though I did notice i was tempted to scratch behind my ear with my foot, lift my leg while urinating, and sniff other people's butts. These soon passed however.

    roughstuff
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  15. #15
    VWVagabonds.com Losligato's Avatar
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    I wanted to get the Rabies vaccinations before our Asian tour. Amanda did not. This despite the fact that she had been bitten by a monkey in Kenya a few years earlier. I guess we assumed this was our one and only rabies scare and we decided in the end to skip it.

    Just days into our tour through Thailand she was once again attacked by a monkey. She was still hesitate on spending the money on the rabies vaccination. Once back in Bangkok we found a place where we could get it done at a reasonable cost and we did so.

    Prices are often far less expensive internationally.... Here is a clinic in Buenos Aires and one in Santiago.

    The vaccination consists of three shots over a month (if I remember correctly). So you may have to get the first one at a clinic, the second and third from a local doctor in a smaller city.
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  16. #16
    imi
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    Good thinking Losligato, Bangkok or one of the other big cities in Thailand (Hat Yai, Chiang Mai) would be good places to get cheaper vaccinations. There are great hospitals in Thailand (I spent a couple of weeks in a Bangkok hospital with dengue fever, the specialist doctor in tropical illnesses was trained in the US, the hygiene and cleanliness was higher than anything I've seen in europe (all sterile syringe packages were opened before my eyes for example, just a detail which boosted my confidence) and my room was more like a good hotel room with cable tv and a waiter who came from the hospital restaurant to take my food orders. I think I had about 7 nurses running around checking my blood pressure and temperature all the time

  17. #17
    Commuting & Touring Guy Doconabike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShacklerViking View Post
    Anybody think i need rabies vaccine for touring Canada, Chile and Argentina for 6 months with tent?


    Does it exist any medical drugs to delay the infection if you are bitten by a rabies infected animal?

    My fear if i am in rural areas and there is a long way to get to the doctor. Because they say you have only 24hour to find a qualified doctor if you are bitten.


    There are an estimated 55,000 human deaths annually from rabies worldwide, with about 31,000 in Asia, and 24,000 in Africa. (Wikipedia)
    That means the chances is zero to get rabies as long you are not touring Asia and Africa?

    The vaccine is expensive, the program is 3 vaccines over a certain period.
    I agree with the other postings that you shouldn't take medical advice from an internet bike forum. That being said, we can direct you to a few reputable sources.

    You can start with the CDC

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwr...cid=rr5703a1_e
    (especially the section on "Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis")

    and

    the American Family Physician

    http://www.aafp.org/afp/20040701/89.html
    http://www.aafp.org/afp/20040215/tips/23.html

  18. #18
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imi View Post
    Good thinking Losligato, Bangkok or one of the other big cities in Thailand (Hat Yai, Chiang Mai) would be good places to get cheaper vaccinations. There are great hospitals in Thailand (I spent a couple of weeks in a Bangkok hospital with dengue fever, .....

    Ouch ouch ouch! Despite the great care, it sounds painful. Was it?

    I went to good hospitals in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, because I was beginning to get malaria symptoms pretty frequently and swore from hell to high water that I had gotten malaria (which I had, in fact)...but the blood tests kept coming back negative. They never told me (too busy Bang'in those Koks, I guess) that you had to have the test done while an attack was in progress; not on the 'off days' when you feel well.

    I've shared alot of travelers medical stories on many other discussion boards. Thank god there are so many clinics now that specialize in medicine for travelers, here and overseas. makes life alot easier.


    roughstuff
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  19. #19
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    I didn't read all the posts in this thread- sorry if this has already been said in some form.

    I worried about rabbies, at the suggestions of printed brochures, before my trip to China and Tibet. A wise doctor who was from India told me to just stay clear of the animals and mind my own business chances are a very slim that a rabid annimal will bite you.

    In Tibet freely roaming dogs were so common around the temples and side streets they almost outnumbered the people - well not quite. They never approached me nor I them. All was fine. Thinking about what was said in the earlier post, about people throwing rocks at the dogs is bizzare and unfortunate - based on my experience. I was more interested in the stark difference in the Western mentality that dogs are property, something someone owns. In my town a dog that is not the property of someone will find itself euthanized(sp). While in Tibet the dogs seemed to have rights and privleges as part of its existence - as beings of the planet. This idea was refreshing enough that I soon forgot about the hype of rabid animals.

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