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Expert Rev Vaccines. 2008 Jul;7(5):613-20. doi: 10.1586/14760584.7.5.613.

Travel vaccination for rabies.

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  • 1Poxvirus and Rabies Branch, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


Rabies is a widely distributed zoonotic disease of major public-health importance. While canine rabies has been controlled throughout most of the developed world, it remains a significant burden in developing countries, particularly in Africa and Asia. Owing to the effectiveness of local rabies control in industrialized countries, the lack of familiarity with rabies may place certain travelers to countries with a higher prevalence of rabies at higher risk for potential contact with rabid animals, requiring rabies postexposure prophylaxis. Where necessary, some travelers may need to consider rabies pre-exposure vaccination, depending on planned activities and duration of travel within a given country. Education regarding behavior around unfamiliar animals and general familiarity with local rabies epidemiology is often sufficient to reduce a person's risk of exposure. Travelers to countries where rabies is prevalent should balance the cost and inconvenience of immunization to the benefits of rabies pre-exposure vaccination.

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