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Rabies (Human) in Nepal

16 Apr 2015

A 49-year-old man has died from rabies virus infection, 4 weeks after being bitten on the hands by a stray dog; the attack was unprovoked.

The man was from the Makwanpur district (Inner Terai) of Narayani zone, central south Nepal. He did not seek medical attention for the bites although, at least four other individuals who were also bitten by the dog did receive rabies vaccine prophylaxis. The man was admitted to hospital on 13 April 2015, with signs and symptoms of rabies, however, he left hospital the following day against medical advice.

A total of 9 human deaths from rabies virus infection have been recorded in Nepal since June 2014. Rabies immunoglobulin is not readily available/administered in Nepal; there has been a shortage in the country for more than six months. There are no national rabies guidelines in place in Nepal at present.

Advice for Travellers

Nepal is considered by WHO to be a high risk destination for animal rabies. Rabies pre-exposure vaccine is available for those considered to be at risk. Travellers should always avoid contact with animals and report any bites promptly for medical assessment.