Clinicians should consider pre-exposure rabies vaccination for adults and children travelling to risk countries, particularly those visiting remote areas with limited access to medical care and where the rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin may not be readily available.
NaTHNaC now indicates where the risk of rabies transmission is thought to be restricted to contact with the saliva of an infected bat (via bites, scratches or saliva contact with mucous membranes). Travellers visiting such countries should be advised to avoid contact with bats and vaccination should be considered for those at increased risk (eg, certain occupations, such as veterinary work).
Hepatitis B vaccination should be considered for all adults and children but is recommended for those travelling to countries where 2% or more of the population is persistently infected with the hepatitis B virus. Travellers at increased risk include those who:
- may have unprotected sex
- may be directly exposed to blood or blood products through their occupation (eg, healthcare professionals)
- are participating in contact sports
- may be exposed to contaminated needles through drug use or accessing medical or dental care
- intend to undergo renal dialysis whilst overseas
- are adopting children from the country
- are long-stay travellers
Available online and in print
The changes are reflected in the MIMS September print edition and country pages online.