Rabies is a viral infection of animals that can be transmitted to humans. It is caused by a virus of the Rhabdoviridae family, which attacks the central nervous system and eventually affects the brain. The virus is usually found in the saliva of an infected animal. Rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms occur. Rabies can occur in any warm-blooded animal, domestic and wild- commonly, dogs, cats, foxes, raccoons, skunks, wolves and bats. Animals having potential interactions with people such as cattle and horses can acquire rabies and may transmit the disease to humans.
Rabies is a viral infection that affects the brain and is spread by direct contact with an infected animal. It is a fatal disease found on all continents, except Antarctica. Pre-exposure immunization of rabies vaccine, Imovax includes 3 doses.
The Rabies Vaccine Imovax is available at the travel vaccine clinic but supplies are limited due to a vaccine shortage. Please call the clinic in advance at 416 461 2419 to confirm availability of the vaccine.
Rabies is a deadly illness caused by a Lyssavirus that spreads to humans through close contact with the saliva of an infected animal, most often from licks, bites or scratches.
Your risk depends on several factors: your destination, the length of your trip, where you stay, your activities and your access to medical care.
Your risk is much higher if you participate in activities that put you in close contact with animals, such as cave exploration, hunting, camping, hiking, or cycling.
Travellers who will be working in close contact with animals (for example, veterinarians, animal control or wildlife workers or laboratory workers) are at higher risk.
Children are also considered at higher risk because they often play with animals, are less likely to report bites or scratches and are more likely to be bitten in the head and neck area. In many areas of the world, rabies is most common in children under the age of 15.
If you have been exposed to the virus (bitten or scratched), shots (called post-exposure prophylaxis) can be effective at preventing the disease, as long as they are received as soon as possible.
Post-exposure prophylaxis is available worldwide, but it is often difficult to obtain.
There is no specific treatment for rabies once symptoms appear.
A map of the areas where rabies transmission occurs is available from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
1. Get vaccinated.
2. Take personal precautions to avoid contact with all animals, wild or domestic.
3. If bitten, scratched or licked on broken skin or mucous membranes, by an animal:
Source: © All rights reserved. Rabies. Public Health Agency of Canada, modified in 2016, with permission from the Minister of Health, 2017.