To mark World Rabies Day on 28 September 2015, the Ministry of Health for Tunisia held an open day in Belvedere Park in the capital Tunis on the northeastern coast of the country. The aim of the event was to raise awareness of rabies infection among the general population, including recommendations on annual vaccination of dogs, the first aid treatment of bites and prompt reporting of animal bites for medical assessment and treatment.
Rabies post-exposure treatment is free in Tunisia and in 2014, 47 000 people were vaccinated against rabies following a dog bite and 41 000 in 2013. Human cases of rabies infection are recorded each year in Tunisia with an increase in recent years. Three human rabies deaths were recorded during 2014 and thus far in 2015, five human deaths have been recorded.
Advice for Travellers
Tunisia is a popular destination for UK travellers and WHO considers the country a high risk area for animal rabies.
Rabies pre-exposure vaccine is available for those considered to be at particular risk. Vaccination would not normally be recommended for the average package/short stay holidaymaker, however travellers should be aware of the risk and avoid all contact with animals and report any bite promptly for medical assessement.