Rabies virus in humans is prone to spread, especially if you are traveling to areas with a high risk of rabies exposure, for example, Bali.
Rabies is an infectious disease that can spread to the brain and central nervous system. The disease is considered very dangerous, as it has a high potential to cause death if it doesn’t get immediate treatment. This disease can be transmitted if a person is bitten or scratched by an infected animal. Rabies can also spread if the saliva of the infected animal has contact with an open wound or mucous membranes. Animals that may have rabies include cats, monkeys, bats, cows, and mostly other wild animals such as raccoons and skunks. However, according to World Health Organization (WHO), more than 99% of human deaths from rabies transmission are caused by dog bites. There are many rabies cases found in Bali caused by dog bites since the island is home to many stray dogs. This condition has caused concern to many foreign tourists in Bali, therefore travelers in Bali should know what to do if bitten by an infected animal to prevent the spread of rabies virus in humans.
Rabies Virus in Humans
Rabies is caused by the rabies virus called the Lyssavirus. The virus can only enter into injured skin. This disease is very deadly and usually transmitted from animals to humans. Transmission occurs due to virus particles in the saliva of infected animals that enter the human body through bites. The spread of the rabies virus to humans can also occur through animal scratches. When rabies-carrying animals bite humans, the virus will start spreading in the body. Slowly, the virus will enter the brain and becomes the cause of severe inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. This inflammation can be risky and will potentially cause death in an infected person.
Rabies in Bali
Traveling should be a fun and memorable experience, especially with friends and family. However, if you are traveling or staying in areas with a high risk of rabies, such as Bali, you might be concerned about being infected with this deadly disease. Bali is well-known to have a high population of stray dogs. Not only that, but Bali is also popular with its monkey forest. Unfortunately, there’s a chance that these animals might carry the rabies virus and they can transmit it to humans by biting. A report says that in 2017, Indonesia had over 25.000 people that received the anti-rabies vaccine but 90 were reportedly died. Another report says that there were over 4.000 dog bite cases a month in Bali. Therefore, rabies virus in humans is prone to spread. Foreign travelers on the island are suggested to learn the basic first aid for animal bite injuries and what to do if they are bitten by an infected dog or other animals suspected of having rabies. Furthermore, getting immediate medical treatment is advised to prevent fatal conditions, such as getting a rabies vaccine.
What to Do If You Are Bitten by an Infected Animal
If you got bitten by a dog or other infected animals while staying or traveling in Bali, do not worry because there are steps that you can do to prevent the rabies virus in humans from spreading in the body. The rabies vaccine is a must and it’s advised to get vaccinated immediately before any symptoms appear. Below is the treatment after a dog bite to prevent the spreading of rabies virus in humans:
- If you are in Bali and got bitten by an infected animal, you should thoroughly wash the wound area as soon as possible with soap under running water for 10-15 minutes.
- Apply a simple amount of an antiseptic such as povidone-iodine or alcohol 70% in the wound site.
- See a doctor immediately for further medical treatment.
Patients will receive Anti-Rabies Vaccine (VAR) or Anti-Rabies Serum (SAR) as the only further treatment that can cure rabies. Anti-Rabies Vaccine is an active immunization made of a non-active rabies virus. Normally, vaccines are given 4 times within 21 days period. Whereas for people who are already vaccinated, they are only given twice in 3 days. Vaccines can be given prior to exposure (pre-exposure prophylaxis) or after an exposure (post-exposure prophylaxis). On the other hand, Anti-Rabies Serum (SAR) is a passive immunization composed of Rabies Immunoglobulin. This medication has a function to neutralize the rabies virus in humans. SAR is given to those with high-risk wounds, for example, patients with multiple wounds. SAR can also give protection for 7 to 10 days before the induced antibodies emerge.
To have rabies treatment, get rabies vaccination service at your home through Medi-Call Application or contact Medi-Call Hotline at +62 81210783387. Our partner doctor will come right to your location to perform the vaccination.