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An update on the rabies situation

Belgrade, Serbia
1 post
An update on the rabies situation

Hi everyone

Two days ago I was bit by a stray dog, and went to have it checked with the doctor. He only cleaned up the wound and sent me on my way.

However, then I read about rabies, and decided that I want the vaccination - just for future risks, as I will travel to Asia soon. Then I learn that the clinic doesn't have rabies vaccine nor the immunoglobin shot (HRIG) given to people who might've been exposed.

I wanted the HRIG just for peace of mind, until I get the actual vaccine.

Statistics I can find say there's extremely few cases of rabies, but still some 400 people got the HRIG last year. So what is the situation? Because almost anywhere I look it says Serbia is a "high risk", but statistics for recent years say otherwise. And what seems like a really high quality clinic doesn't even have the HRIG in stock.

So what's the situation?

7 replies to this topic
Rewari, India
Level Contributor
1,144 posts
31 reviews
1. Re: An update on the rabies situation

I dont know about the situation there but Being a Doctor i would suggest 5 shots of anti rabies vaccine will not only give u protection but also peace of mind. At our clinic we do not take any chances on this n always strongly advise for vaccination.

Vikas

Novi Sad, Serbia
Destination Expert
for Serbia
Level Contributor
855 posts
4 reviews
2. Re: An update on the rabies situation

I am not a doctor, but as I heard the vaccine is part of the protocol after a dog bite only in cases where an alert had been raised for the area (and I haven’t heard of one recently). Allegedly, it has some side effects (don’t know the details).

https:/…rxqwymk

Last case of human infection in Serbia was recorded in 1980 or so.

Rewari, India
Level Contributor
1,144 posts
31 reviews
3. Re: An update on the rabies situation

Well Makicak

I wont counter u but Can the minimal side effects outweigh the benefit of saving a life in case the Dog was rabid???? The protocol also says the Dog should b tested for rabies. Is it possible to trace out every stray dog??? Not practically possible in our country atleast so we always advise for vaccination n the schedule is like this.....

0 day then after 3 days then after 1 week of 0 day then after 2 weeks of 0 day then after 4 weeks of 0 day. If the bite was large then its better to get a booster dose at 90 days.

Hope this helps.

Vikas

Bratislava, Slovakia
Destination Expert
for Bratislava
Level Contributor
2,699 posts
4. Re: An update on the rabies situation

Hi all,

I was bitten by a dog in Belgrade about three years ago. When I asked about rabies, the risk of it, what shots should I take etc. every doctor and nurse kind of laughed and said there is no need. The last human case of rabies was, as Makicak said, in the 1980s. An acquaintance was bitten around the same time and was given the same message.

The injections sounded quite nasty if I remember correctly. I think the risk is minuscule (local medical professionals certainly thought so) so you will be OK. BTW - my wound was cleaned every couple of days, I had a tetanus booster (4 shots) and was prescribed strong antibiotics.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, but am just passing on my first-hand experience.

U.K.
Destination Expert
for Belgrade
Level Contributor
15,231 posts
1 review
5. Re: An update on the rabies situation

'Statistics I can find say there's extremely few cases of rabies, but still some 400 people got the HRIG last year'

Where are these 400 people?

Stray dogs are an issue in parts of Serbia, even in Belgrade suburbs (they seem to be quickly caught in city centre) but I've not heard about this high risk of rabies. Please give more details of where you see these reports.

Also scare stories doing the rounds about mosquito bites causing some kind of serious swamp fever, 'West Nile Virus' it's getting so you don't know what to believe anymore. Mosquitos are big and bad locally, I'm always getting really bad bites especially near rivers in Belgrade so I put on loads of protection. Anyone heard about any new risk of mozzies carrying worrying stuff causing West Nile virus? I hope it's just a myth.

Stoofer

Edited: 15 May 2018, 03:11
Novi Sad, Serbia
Destination Expert
for Serbia
Level Contributor
855 posts
4 reviews
6. Re: An update on the rabies situation

Official 2017 record for West Nile virus infection in Belgrade was 34 people infected, 1 death case. Source: https:/…j2t27q4

However, WNV infection is generally a mild disease, with many people experiencing mild or no symptoms, thus it tends to go underreported. However, in rather rare cases, it may develop into dangerous meningitis and result in death, which makes it nasty. That puts the general risk from it rather low, somewhere on par or below flu.

U.K.
Destination Expert
for Belgrade
Level Contributor
15,231 posts
1 review
7. Re: An update on the rabies situation

Thanks Mak, I thought it was a hoax, obviously more to it than that..

Mind you, I would imagine 1 death from allergy attack or asthma so it is an unlikely event, seems more down to individual suseptability.

I always advice lots of mozzie spray and do that myself, especially if going near water.

Stoofer

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