How Long Does Rabies Vaccine Last? What You Should Know About Taking Rabies Vaccines

Rabies vaccine can be described as an inactivated rabies virus vaccine prepared in the human diploid cell culture or an embryo cell culture. Almost all infections with Rabies result in death until the discovery of rabies vaccines, and today, the vaccine has been proven to be highly effective in preventing death and all fatal effects of rabies infection. Having the rabies vaccine does not mean you must not avoid the disease; by all means, it is also not a treatment for the infection.

So, how long does the rabies vaccine last?

Rabies vaccine can last between six months and two years, depending on the type of vaccine.

Where Is Rabies Found Predominantly Around The World?

The rabies virus can be found in most countries globally, but some countries are at higher risks than others.

Rabies is present in all continents except Antarctica. More than 95% of deaths linked to Rabies are from the continents of Asia and Africa.

In Central America, for instance, the countries that are at the highest risks of Rabies are Nicaragua and Mexico. In Southern Asia, India and Indonesia are countries with the most increased risks of contracting the rabies virus. In South America, Peru, Brazil, and Ecuador are countries with the highest risks of contracting the virus. In Africa, the Safari and the entire tropical region are considered the highest risk areas for the rabies virus.

In Eastern Europe, The Baltics and Rusia are considered the regions with the highest risks of rabies infection.

You need to exercise restraints and take precautions when you come close to stray animals in these countries. Vaccinations may be recommended when traveling to these countries based on your itinerary.

What You Should Know About Rabies

Rabies infections are some of the most underrated in the world, and you need to be aware of what they are and how they spread to protect yourself and your family. The following are things you must know about Rabies;

1. What is Rabies Virus?

Rabies is a virus that infected animals transmit, and most of these are wild animals. In many cases, Rabies is transmitted by stray animals and, in some instances, domesticated animals. The virus becomes almost fatal once the symptoms become noticeable.

2. What are the Symptoms of Rabies Infection?

Symptoms of Rabies may start showing within few weeks of months after infection and may include the following;

  • Discomfort and general weakness.
  • Itching and pickling sensations around the bite area.
  • Hallucinations and abnormal behavior at the later stages.

Getting rabies vaccination perhaps is the best possible way of preventing the rabies infection. 

3. How Does Rabies Spread in Humans and Other Animals?

Rabies spread from the infected animal when their saliva enters the bloodstream of their victims. Animal bites are the most everyday vector for the virus. Only mammals can be infected with the rabies virus, which means birds, insects, and reptiles, for instance, are well-immune from the infection.

Some animals are known to pose higher risks of infecting mammals than others. For this reason, you must exercise necessary precautions, especially when you come in contact with the most popular rabies carriers like raccoons, skunks, foxes, stray coyotes, and stray dogs.

It is also known that several bat species spread the rabies virus, and most of these species are found throughout the world.

Getting the Rabies Vaccination- What You Should Know

Getting the rabies vaccination as early as possible can help prevent rabies infection, especially when you contact an infected animal. The following information is essential for you;

1. When Should I Get a Rabies Vaccination?

Rabies vaccines are recommended based on travelers’ plans. If you plan on staying in a country with elevated risks of Rabies for more than 14 days, vaccination is highly recommended. It is believed that more than 60,000 people die every year worldwide from rabies infection.

You must receive your first pre-exposure rabies vaccination at least 28 days before traveling to a high-risk country. Booster doses are also recommended approximately 28 days after taking your first vaccine. Since you cannot complete all three doses of vaccines before your trip, it is best to abstain from the vaccine.

The post-exposure vaccine is given after a bite from an infected animal or after contamination. You must seek medical attention immediately if you believe you have been exposed to Rabies from any animal.

2. Do I Need Rabies Booster Shot?

Not getting your booster rabies vaccination 28 days after the first vaccines can render your vaccination useless. The timing of rabies booster shots will depend on the type of rabies vaccine you received.

The pre-exposure booster shot is given within seven days of your first vaccinations and not later than 28 days after.

It would be best if you took the post-exposure booster injection three days after the first injection, then seven and fourteen days after. If you don’t complete your entire set of vaccinations, you will be vulnerable to infection.

If you are taking a post-exposure rabies vaccination, missing a dose can cause the virus to spread rapidly through your body. Therefore, it is essential to receive the complete vaccinations alongside the post-exposure doses before you embark on a trip to a high-risk country.

How Long Will Your Rabies Vaccines Last?

Rabies vaccines protection can last for between six and twenty-four months, depending on the type of vaccines you received. Your pre-exposure vaccinations should offer up to two years of protection if you complete the doses, and such are recommended for regular travelers.

Post-exposure rabies vaccinations can protect you for up to six months, depending on the type and number of doses of vaccines received. The primary purpose of taking pre-exposure vaccinations against Rabies is to prevent full rabies infection and not protect against re-infection.

You should be able to get your pre-vaccination and post-vaccination against rabies infection at a country’s local health authority.

 Diagnosis, Treatment, And Prevention Of Rabies Infection

There is no fully established treatment once rabies infection has been established. There are ways to handle rabies infection if you have been bitten, and the following things are essential to know;

1. Diagnosis of Rabies Infection

At the time an infected animal bites you, there is no way to be sure whether the animal has transmitted the rabies virus to you or not. For this reason, the doctor may have to advise you to wait until after a few weeks for the first test. For this reason, The doctor will only recommend the treatment to prevent Rabies from infecting your body if the doctor thinks there is a chance you have been exposed to the virus.

2. Treatment

There is no effective treatment once rabies infection has been established. Though a significant number of people have survived rabies infection, the disease has a very high risk of death. For this reason, prevention is always advised, primarily through vaccinations. In most cases, the doctor will give you a series of shots to prevent the viral infection from spreading and infecting you.

If the animal that bites you cannot be found, it will be safe to assume that they are the carrier of the virus. The doctor will likely examine the type of animal and the situation under which the bite occurred.

3. Types of Rabies Treatment Shot

The fast-acting rabies shot, also referred to as Rabies immune globulin, is typically administered to prevent the virus from spreading through your body and infecting you. A portion of this injection is applied near the bite area and as soon as possible after the bite.

The other type of treatment involves a series of vaccinations that will help the body learn and identify and fight off the virus independently. The rabies vaccinations are applied on your arms, and you will likely receive up to four injections under fourteen days.

How To Determine Whether The Animal That Bites You Has Rabies

It is better to assume that all stray animals you come in contact with has Rabies, this will help you take extra precautions to prevent a bite.

You wouldn’t need any shot if the animal that bites you was found out to be healthy. As for pets, and farm animals, a period of 10-day observation for signs and symptoms of Rabies are administered, and if the animal was found to be healthy within this period, it will be assumed it is healthy.

Wild animals that can be caught, including bats, can be killed and tested for Rabies. The test for Rabies is normally conducted on the animal’s brain. If the animal that bites you tests negative for Rabies, then you wouldn’t need any shot, but you will still need vaccinations against future bites.

Animals that can’t be found will likely be assumed to possess high risks of rabies virus. You must be ready to explain and describe the animal and bite pattern to your doctor. In most cases, the doctor may proceed to give you Rabies shot on the assumption that the animal is infected with Rabies.

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