Rabies in India

Delhi Belly


India has the highest incidence of human rabies in the world.This includes not only Indian but it also effects tourist. A number of tourist have contracted rabies in India and all have dies. WHO says India has about 30,000 of the 50,000 annual cases reported worldwide. The Indian Association for the Prevention and Control of Rabies estimates that about 8,000,000 people receive treatment for dog bites every year. Once symptoms of rabies develop, it is almost invariably fatal. The problem is not just in rural areas; semi feral dogs in cities are a huge part of the problem. Dr Mary Warrell of the Oxford Vaccine Group, University of Oxford, said [in a news article about a UK citizen who got rabies in Goa

One notable case is an English women who went on vacation in Goa and was playing with a puppy and her skin was lightly scratched. She died three months later in England. There is no cure or treatment for rabies."If you are going to India at all you should have per-exposure treatment... There is always a possibility of a delay in treatment, or failure to find the right treatment. If you are just going to a big city then maybe there is not a big risk, but if you are going to the countryside I would recommend it."



* if you are bitten scratched or licked on an open wound by a dog, cat, monkey, camel, bat or other mammal you must seek a rabies vaccine *

*never play with stray dogs*

*never feed stray dogs*

*avoid stray dogs*

*avoid carrying food around dogs or monkeys! *

 The problem with dogs and rabies in India is that dogs are everywhere and dogs can carry the virus even if there are no symptoms. If a dog licks a wound or bites you even lightly, you will face a hard decisions as to weather or not to go for the shots. So, it is better to get them done in advance, that way you won't be stuck in the middle of now here worrying.  But you will still need follow up shots.

You WILL encounter many dogs... 


The rabies virus is very slow to work.
So if your bitten the vaccine can be administered and your immunity will develop before the virus can replicate. If a monkey or bat bites you on the head or in a deep wound the virus may work faster! In this case someone would need the 'antiserum' first to cut the risk of contacting the virus.  If you have the pre exposure rabies vaccine though, you won't need this because the vaccine has started work already giving you some immunity. Good thing too because these anti serums are hard to find in India if not impossible.


The vaccine, RABIPUR, is available all over India and is very good quality, includes a complete kit with syringe and instructions. It must be refrigerated. So you can buy them as you need them, every 2 weeks. Someone at the pharmacy can administer it right there and then (make sure his hands are clean, he disinfects the site, and administers the entire vaccine!) or you can find a clinic who will have the vaccine as well (better option!) Small pharmacies will not have the vaccine.  It  must be refrigerated. , so the pharmacy must have a backup generator. You can also check the date on the pack yourself, look for a very fresh one. Every big city or town will a pharmacy that stock the vaccine.

If you get bitter by an animal, right away dose the wound with iodine or Detol, this can kill the virus before it enters your body. Also washing with soap and water, cleaning out the wound completely.

If you want to get the vaccination in India (to save money, and why not?), get the first shot when you arrive, then you will need 2 more, about 2weeks and 8 weeks later, it will say in the instructions that come with the Rabipur Kit. It doesn't matter that much long as you get 3  vaccines in you. If you get bitten then you will only need 3 booster shots not 5 and it wont be so crucial to get the booster shots with in 24 hours.


If you get bitten by a monkey or dog badly how will you get the serum? fly to Delhi? You had the right idea, get the vaccine in advance, it will save you a lot of head ache and stress when you get a scratch from a dog, also cats can carry it. You'll be sitting having a wonderful time somewhere and this dam dog will bites you and then you'll have to change your plans completely and head for then next town. It might even be the owners friends brothers dam dog and he will swear that the dog's vaccinated. But, think now, will you believe him? If you have the vaccine then this will buy you time. Once vaccinated you *might* be 100% immune, but should still get the post-exposure shots. You realize they are the same vaccine don't you. And you won't need the serum if you vaccinated.


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0 # soul hurry 2011-07-27 07:58
Why be so negative?
-1 # MartyMark 2012-06-15 21:46
I couldn't believe that a women had died from rabies bite while on vacation in Goa recently. This is terrible terrible disease, she had to be isolated.

-3 # Arijit 2012-06-26 09:42
The Author mus have been out of his minds before writing this article and at the same time must be a pessimist. His guidance will give rise to confusion as he might have written this article in his dreams without considering facts.
+3 # john55 2012-06-26 10:26
Quoting Arijit:
The Author mus have been out of his minds before writing this article and at the same time must be a pessimist. His guidance will give rise to confusion as he might have written this article in his dreams without considering facts.

Arijit, what are you talking about?
+1 # VIvek 2012-07-26 11:23
dogs are so dangerous!! amazed
-1 # Aniruddha 2012-08-07 11:04
laugh The author might have been in Rabies troma. Ofcourse Rabies is a fatal desease but can be prvented.Rabipu r, the most popular antirabies vaccine now available in most of the medicine shop even in remote villages of India. So, don't afraid...be positive---feel free and ofcourse Love dogs.
+3 # mscott 2012-08-30 17:08
soul hurry...Arijit...Aniruddha....

"negative"...."out of his minds"...."be positive"....

Please get a clue - the author makes some valid points that are facts! India has rabies. Dogs and monkeys are rampant. Pre-exposure vaccination is much easier to complete than to find immune globulin in India. Anyone reading this and going to India - do yourself a favor and get 3 simple pre-exposure vaccines.
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