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Rabies (Human) in Vietnam

21 May 2014

The Department of Health has reported two human deaths from rabies virus infection in Hanoi; the first on 7 May 2014, in the district of Chuong My in the Red River Delta region and the second on 10 May 2014, in Soc Son a district of the capital Hanoi. No human cases of rabies were reported in the previous two years in Hanoi.

In 2014, Vietnam has recorded human deaths from rabies in 10 provinces and cities. The Ministry of Health has warned that the risk of rabies is greater in the summer months as the infection in dogs generally increases at this time.  Rabies incidence has been increasing in Vietnam since 2004; in 2013, 102 human deaths were reported. Dogs are the main source of the infection, accounting for 96%, followed by cats.

Advice for Travellers

Vietnam is considered by WHO to be a high risk destination for rabies. Pre-exposure vaccination is recommended for those considered to be at risk. Travellers are advised to avoid all animal contact and report any bites as soon as possible for medical assessment.