Rabies in Mexico (Nayarit and Oaxaca)
05 Jan 2023
A woman has been diagnosed with rabies in the Mexican state of Nayarit, after being bitten by her pet cat on 13 November 2022. The cat was not vaccinated against rabies and had behaved aggressively before it died. The woman showed signs of rabies a month after being bitten.
Elsewhere in Mexico, two children were diagnosed with rabies in December 2022 after being bitten by a bat in the state of Oaxaca. One of the children has died and the other remains in a serious condition.
Rabies is a fatal viral infection which affects the brain and nerves. The virus is spread through the saliva of infected animals, usually following a bite or scratch.
Advice to Travellers
Before you travel, you should:
- check if rabies is a risk at your destination
- consider having rabies vaccines before travel; see a travel health professional (at least 4-6 weeks before you travel) if you think you might need a rabies vaccine course or booster dose
- be aware what to do if you think you have been exposed to rabies virus
- determine if there will be any reliable medical facilities at your destination
If you are travelling to a country where rabies is considered a risk, you should:
- avoid contact with animals, especially dogs, cats and monkeys: be aware that some animals can be infected with rabies without being aggressive or behaving strangely
- be aware that children are more likely to approach animals. Check them for wounds, and encourage them to tell you if they are bitten, licked or scratched by an animal
- read the animal bites page for advice on how to prevent being bitten by bats and animals
- seek immediate medical attention if you might have been exposed to rabies
For further information, see the fitfortravel Rabies page.