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Rabies is a viral infection that primarily affects the nervous system. It is most commonly transmitted through the bite or scratch of an infected animal, usually a dog, but it can also be transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal getting into an open wound or mucous membrane (such as the eyes, nose, or mouth).

Rabies is more prevalent in certain regions of the world, like Africa, Asia and Latin America but it can occur anywhere.

It is important to get the rabies vaccine because once symptoms of the disease appear, it is almost always fatal. It is especially important for people who are at high risk of exposure to the virus, such as people who work with animals, people who travel to areas where the disease is prevalent, and people who live in areas where the disease is common.

No need to book to see your GP. Our qualified travel health specialists can advise and prescribe Rabies vaccinations providing a fast and convenient service in the Bristol, Cheltenham & Gloucester areas.

Vaccination Price per dose Price per course (3 doses)
 Rabies  £76  £216


To prevent getting rabies, you can take the following steps:

  • Get vaccinated against rabies if you work with animals or are at high risk of exposure such as travelling to an area where there is a high risk.
  • Avoid contact with wild animals, especially dogs, bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open food containers or bird feeders
  • Teach children to never touch unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly
  • Seek medical attention immediately if you are bitten or scratched by an animal, especially a wild one.

  • Countries at risk

    Rabies is found worldwide, but it is most common in developing countries in Africa and Asia, where access to effective rabies prevention and control measures is limited. The highest numbers of human deaths from rabies occur in these areas, particularly in rural regions where domestic dogs are the main transmitters of the virus. However, even in developed countries, there are still cases of rabies in wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, and bats, which can transmit the virus to domestic animals and humans if they come in contact with them.

    Sign and Symptoms

    The signs and symptoms of rabies can vary depending on the stage of the infection.

    In the early stage of infection, symptoms may include:

  • fever
  • headache
  • muscle weakness
  • tingling or itching at the site of the bite
  • feeling anxious or confused

    As the virus spreads to the central nervous system, symptoms may become more severe and include:

  • difficulty swallowing
  • excessive salivation
  • hallucinations
  • hydrophobia (fear of water)
  • insomnia
  • partial paralysis

    Once these symptoms develop, rabies is almost always fatal. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention immediately if you have been bitten or scratched by an animal that may have rabies, or if you have been in contact with saliva from an infected animal.

    It's worth noting that some people may not show any symptoms at all, which is called "silent rabies" or "paralytic rabies" but still can transmit the virus.

    The signs and symptoms of rabies in animals can vary depending on the species, but some common signs include:

  • Change in behavior: An infected animal may become more aggressive, irritable, or nervous. They may also become more affectionate or tame than usual.
  • Loss of coordination: The animal may appear weak, wobbly, or paralyzed in some areas.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Excitation or Frenzy
  • Increased salivation, saliva may be bloody
  • Hydrophobia (fear of water)
  • Aerophobia (fear of air or drafts)
  • Paralysis: This can occur in the final stages of the infection and is often accompanied by drooping of the lower jaw and difficulty swallowing.

    It's worth noting that not all animals will show all the signs of rabies, and some animals may not show any signs at all, especially in the early stages of the disease.

    If you suspect that an animal has rabies, it is important to avoid contact with the animal and seek help from a veterinarian or public health officials immediately.