Rabies Outbreak in Bali
I had heard about this outbreak of Rabies a few days ago and as I was watching the evening news, there was a warning to all travellers to Bali to be aware of the rise in Rabies and what to do. A typical standard warning and the Indonesian Government has declared a rabies outbreak in Bali. Rabies, or ‘Mad Dog Disease’ has been around for centuries. However, it is a serious matter and not to be scoffed at lightly. Currently, there have been a few deaths on Bali from Rabies but they were not tourists. They were from dog bites. It’s a bit hard to avoid dogs on the island as they are everywhere and nonchalantly plod around on the streets of the tourist strip.
Even though the Rabies outbreak in Bali is currently affecting dogs, cats and monkeys are other animals you should avoid having contact with. Getting bitten or scratched by a cat or a monkey or a dog will give cause for concern and I suggest you seek medical attention as soon as possible. There is a vaccine for Rabies. BMIC are well versed on the matter. If you do get bitten and you are at some place like Sangeh Monkey Forest or Alas Kedaton, then thoroughly wash out the wound with soap and water until you can get to medical attention. The same applies if you are scratched or bitten by a dog on the streets of Kuta.
Travellers to Bali should also be careful to avoid bites from dogs in particular, as well as from other animals such as monkeys. If someone is bitten they should straight away, and seek immediate medical attention. Rabies is a serious and life-threatening infection. If you are unsure before you travel to Bali then I suggest you check with your doctor just for reassurance. Prevention is better than cure and so any contact with cats, monkeys and dogs should be avoided until the Indonesian Health Department gets on top of the situation.