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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Rabies in Peru

05 Jan 2017

A media reportLink of 31 December 2016 advises that health officials in the Cusco region in south eastern Peru have reported 85 suspected human rabies cases in individuals in La Convención province.

The cases are suspected of having contracted rabies after being bitten by bats in the various Amazonian localities of Camana, Mayapo, Puerto Huallana and Alto Pichas.

The regional director of Health of Cusco has confirmed that among the group of those bitten by bats are 15 soldiers that were transferred to Lima. Of the group of soldiers, two cases have been confirmed, one of which is now deceased.

Advice for Travellers

Peru is considered by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to be a high risk destination for rabies.

  • Any animal contact in a rabies endemic area poses a potential risk of infection.
  • All travellers to rabies endemic areas should be aware of the risk of rabies and advised to avoid contact with animals (both wild and domestic), particularly dogs and cats.
  • Children are more vulnerable to rabies than adults as they are less likely to comprehend the risk of animal contact, less able to defend themselves from an animal attack and may not report a potential exposure.
  • All travellers to endemic areas should be aware of immediate wound care and advised to seek medical attention immediately, see Post-Exposure Rabies AdviceLink
  • Rabies pre-exposure vaccine is available for those considered to be at risk.