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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Rabies (Human) (Canine) in Vietnam

19 May 2015

The health authorities of Thai Nguyen Province in the Northeast region of Vietnam have alerted the local population to an increased risk of rabies in the province.

This follows an increase in the number of individuals reporting dogs suspected to have rabies. The preventive health centre has reported 3145 individuals in the province seeking treatment following bites by stray dogs between January and March 2015.

There have been 4 human deaths from rabies as a result dog bites in the province thus far in 2015. Nationally in Vietnam during 2014, more than 60 000 individulas were bitten by dogs and cats, of those 14 died from rabies virus infection.

A task force has been set up to monitor the dog population for sick animals. The preventive health centre has set up seven stations to provide rabies vaccine for those requiring it.

Advice for Travellers

Vietnam is considered by WHO to be a country with a high risk of animal rabies. Rabies pre-exposure vaccine is sometimes advised for travellers considered to be at risk. Travellers should avoid all animal contact and report any bites promptly for medical assessment.