Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tourists warned of rabies outbreak in Bali

Tourists travelling to Bali are being warned about an outbreak of rabies at the popular tourist destination.

The Indonesian island was considered to be free of rabies until the fatal disease was diagnosed last week in two dogs in Kuta, a beach frequented by tourists.

Rabies affects the brain and is almost always fatal without treatment.

The usual incubation period for the disease is three to eight weeks.

Australian health authorities have issued a statement warning people visiting the island to avoid dogs, cats and monkeys.

Northern Territories Department of Health and Families spokesperson Dr Peter Markey said authorities in Bali had taken steps to control the situation, implementing a programme of culling and vaccinating dogs and people in the affected villages.

He said anyone who had returned from Bali since August this year with bites or scratches from an animal should consult their GP or nearest emergency department as soon as possible.

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