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Rabies in Vietnam (Human) (Animal)

05 Aug 2015

The media has reported on the ongoing problem of rabies in Vietnam. In the first six months of 2015, around 16 410 individuals in Ho Chi Minh City sustained animal bites, of those, 3600 were children. More than 83% of the bites sustained were from dogs.

Nationally each year, an average of 300 000 individuals report bites from domestic animals in Vietnam. Around 40% of victims refuse post-exposure rabies vaccine even though it is fairly inexpensive. In the first six months of the year, 26 human deaths from rabies were recorded; Quang Nam province reported most deaths (4). Annually Vietnam reports an average of 100 human rabies deaths.

Advice for Travellers

Vietnam is considered by WHO to be a country with a high risk of animal rabies. Rabies pre-exposure vaccine is sometimes advised for travellers considered to be at risk. Travellers should avoid all animal contact and report any bites promptly for medical assessment.