Animals can cause potentially fatal effect, through injury, disease such as rabies or from neurotoxic venoms. Wild animal attacks are rare and easily avoidable by staying away from large animals in zoos and game parks. Water areas may contain sharks, crocodiles or hippopotami. However, dog or monkey bite remains a much greater risk.
Rabies is a viral infection transmitted by contact with the body fluid of infected wild or domestic mammals. This is most commonly by a dog or monkey bite, but also from foxes, skunks, chipmunks, wolves and rarely from bat urine aerosols in caves.
- The disease occurs in all continents except Australia and Antarctica
- Over 50,000 deaths occur annually, world wide, half of this in India alone
- Travellers need to be aware that a bite, lick or scratch from an infected animal may be fatal
- There are no known survivors of rabies once clinical symptoms are present
- The animal does not have to appear ill to have rabies
- Vaccination against rabies is mandatory following any bite from a mammal