By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel notice for Haiti last week after reports of annual dog vaccination campaigns having been interrupted in Haiti and health officials have reported an increase of rabies in dogs there.
In addition, health officials warn travelers that human rabies vaccine is also limited in Haiti, so if you are exposed to rabies, you may not be able to get appropriate treatment.
CDC offers the following advice for travelers to Haiti:
- Don’t touch dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, or other animals, even if they are pets. Even animals that appear healthy can spread rabies.
- Supervise children closely, especially around dogs and puppies, cats and kittens, and wildlife.
- Vaccinate pets against rabies before travel. Do not allow pets around other animals.
- Bring and wear appropriate protective gear if working with animals.
Act quickly if bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal
- Wash all bites and scratches immediately with soap and running water for at least 15 minutes.
- Seek immediate medical attention for all animal bites or scratches, even if
- You don’t feel sick.
- The wound does not look serious.
- You were vaccinated against rabies before travel
- Rabies is nearly always fatal if left untreated but can be prevented by getting appropriate PEP as soon as possible after exposure and before symptoms start.
- Be prepared to travel to the United States (or another area) to receive PEP.
- Because of the above, CDC recommends considering medical evacuation insurance.
Consider pre-travel rabies vaccine
- If possible, get vaccinated against rabies before travel. The preexposure rabies vaccine series is given as three shots over three to four weeks.
- People who receive the complete preexposure rabies vaccine series
- Still require immediate medical attention after any animal bite or scratch.
- May be partially protected until they get medical attention.