i'm off to Ecuador and the rest of south america in october. i have a slight dilema in that i need to take vaccinations. i know that yellow fever is essential but i was notified that it might be a good idea to have the rabies jab, but there is the money situation. it costs £100 to get the rabies jab!!!!! do i need it or will i be ok?
Unless the vaccination has changed significantly in 2 years (and im sure it hasnt), the rabies vaccination doesnt protect you at all. It merely offers you more time to get to the hospital (something like 48 hrs instead of 24). The costs far outweigh the benefits here--youll still have to go the hospital if you get bit. Though there are alot of stray dogs running around, i never knew or heard of anyone getting bit. Vaccinations are expensive enough--take the risk and avoid the dogs.
I totally agree. That was my decision - I'm going to S.A. including Ecuador pretty soon too. Stay away from the dogs instead!
One word of advice. Stay away from any dogs, it elimates the risk ten fold if you dont touch them, hence you will be unlucky if you get bitten. All other animals too, like cats etc...
I did and i am fine. (i think!)
As far as rabies is concerned - here is a thread response clarifying it's need:
Rabies is highly recommended if you will be participating with wildlife programs or spending most of your trip in rural areas. Common sense is the best deterrent to contracting rabies. Don't pet the pretty skunk, stray dog or "friendly" monkey.
Urbancow is correct - the vaccinations do NOT prevent the disease - they do allow you time to get to the proper health care providers and will decrease the number of injections you will need to receive if you have been bitten or exposed to an infected animal's bodily fluids.
Most animals, even infected ones, prefer to not have contact with you unless provoked or approached. Bat, skunks, raccoons and some species of primates can harbor rabies without developing "full-blown" symptoms of the disease. I don't say this to scare you! I do say this to give you a reason not to approach them because they are cute.
Look at it from this point of view - you don't wish to have strangers coming up and patting you on the head saying, "Oh, you are so cute and friendly". I'd be tempted to bite them myself! Animals, in general, feel the same way. They are cute to llok at but do not want you touching them. So, use your camera instead and have a memory that you can savor forever.
My apologies if I sound negative, but my background is in this area. I want everyone on TP to be safe. I also don't want you to spend money that you don't need to spend. You will do just fine without the rabies vaccinations as long as you use caution.
Have a great trip and wave to the skunks - that they don't mind!
You can get it in S.A. and it will cost you cheaper!
when i went to Perú, I also had typhoid fever vaccination....just in case.
Well, I traded my rabies vaccine for an MP3 player.....I think it will be the right decision