Rabies vaccine - for toddlers?

#1 Apr 1st, 2018, 10:33
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  • bosquef is offline
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Rabies vaccine is usually listed as a possible vaccine for travel to India. Rabies is a really serious problem in India, but most travelers are not likely to encounter it. Risk factors are (a) extended travel in rural areas, (b) working with animals (especially stray dogs, the leading transmitter), and (c) children (who may be more likely to be bitten by dogs).
I'm going to be spending a few weeks in rural India with my son, who is 3. Do you think we should get pre-exposure vaccination for him?
#2 Apr 2nd, 2018, 02:22
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Merely my opinion as my boy said as a toddler, don't ask him he is not a real doctor (precocious fella but usually right). As long as you are alert and watch over him it should not be necessary. Watch out for stray dogs and monkeys. At that age you can still carry the child a ways where its iffy. The only problem dogs created in a couple of decades was a pair engaging in nature's way on a platform. That doesn't mean not to be careful and alert around stray dogs. Mainly they make way for a bigger uglier brute. Otherwise change direction. Areas where you may want to reconsider are travel in the remote countryside and trekking and in the most unlikely event wandering in migrant labor camps. The injection buys you time for further treatment. In the larger cities transport and medical care are quite available. In any case a bite should be thoroughly cleaned immediately..
#3 Apr 2nd, 2018, 04:59
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Quote:
Watch out for stray dogs and monkeys.
It's probably not true, but safer to consider any mammal as a risk. In terms of the domestics and common urban strays, for instance: cats as well as dogs. It was a cat bite that sent me rushing to the hospital (I didn't delay: I went straight there at 1.00am). India is not the country for people, especially the kids, to be going "sweet fluffy thing: needs a cuddle." It very well might! But it is not worth the risk.

This is my point of view on dogs: I pretty-much ignore them in the day, especially the lone animals, but I am very wary of them in the night, and consider a pack on the street to be pretty dangerous. Of course: it is not black/white. Not all dogs are safe in the day; not all dogs are dangerous at night.
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#4 Apr 2nd, 2018, 07:10
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Good point people get carried away with the Disney perception of animals and that interaction can be hazardous. Have seen people hand feeding squirrels and its as problematic "here" as in India..
#5 Apr 2nd, 2018, 13:49
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Rabies vaccine - for toddlers?

I've done that! It's funny that, even though they are shy, one they have their teeth in the nut, they don't let go. But a vet told me about someone who lost a finger because they put their hand in a bag containing a wild squirrel they were bringing for treatment.

Back to topic... Most visitors to India do not consider rabies vaccination necessary unless they are going to be working with animals, or travelling somewhere remote. Risk avoidance is the thing. Don't risk getting nipped, scratched, or even licked by dogs etc.

If attacked by a dog, you're going to end up in hospital anyway!

There is a lot of the more technical stuff about pre- and post- exposure etc etc on other threads, and elsewhere on the net. Minimum age, though, might require a real doc's advice.

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