The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned against a counterfeit anti rabies vaccine circulating in the Philippines right now.
This time of year, many travelers travel to the East, but the risk for tourists of getting this counterfeit vaccine is minimal.
SOS International has responded urgently to the warning and contacted its local partners and suppliers in the area and they all confirm that the fake vaccines have not been utilised at any of SOS International’s preferred hospitals or clinics.
The vaccine itself is considered to be pure placebo and thus has no particular side effects or consequences, however there can be a risk of not being protected against rabies. The Department of Health is in the process of identifying the individuals who received the vaccine in order to give them proper treatment.
This underlines the importance of travellers contacting the alarm centre of their insurance company when in need of medical assistance abroad. This ensures that they are referred to proper clinics and hospitals and that they receive the right treatment and the right level of treatment.
In 2018, SOS International assisted more than 800 travellers in the Philippines.
Facts on rabies
- Rabies virus is found in the saliva of the infected animal. The infection is transmitted through bites or, in rare instances, by scratching or by spitting in the eyes or in open wounds.
- Rabies is associated with lethal inflammation of the brain and an almost 100 percent of fatality, so receiving treatment immediately after the exposure is of a paramount importance.
- Rabies may be prevented by immunisation.
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