Rabies in South Africa (Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Limpopo) - Update 2
22 Apr 2022
Rabies continues to be reported in people in South Africa. From 1 January 2022 to 24 March 2022 there have been 4 causes in Limpopo (1), Eastern Cape (2) and KwaZulu-Natal (1) Provinces.
An ongoing outbreak of rabies in dogs places people at risk in the affected Provinces.
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
For further information, see the fitfortravel Rabies page.