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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Rabies in India (Human Exposure)

21 Jan 2015

On 17 January 2015, a stray dog suspected to be infected with rabies virus, bit 16 individuals before being captured. This incident took place in Vashi, the business district of Mumbai district in Maharashtra state on the west coast of India.

Those who sustained the dog bites attended hospital in Vashi for post-exposure prophylaxis. Whilst the hospital had sufficient rabies vaccine for all 16 patients, rabies immunoglobulin was available for 6 patients only. The remaining patients were advised to travel to a hospital in Parel, central Mumbai, where they should be able to access rabies immuoglobulin. The hospital in Parel is around 16 miles (25 km) from Vashi.

Fourteen of the patients have received treatment and been discharged, two children remain in hospital for further treatment. This is a media report.

Advice for Travellers

Travellers should be made aware that India is a high risk destination for rabies and be advised to avoid all animal contact. Rabies pre-exposure vaccine is available for those considered to be at risk. Travellers should be aware that rabies immunoglobulin may not be available in parts of India.

All animal bites should be reported promptly for medical assessment.