Before heading off on your holidays and travels, it’s important to know about the vaccinations you may need. Here we explain a little more about rabies, and the vaccinations and treatments available at our travel clinic.

What is rabies and how do you catch it?

Rabies is found throughout the world, particularly in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. Rabies is a rare but very serious infection of the brain and nerves. It’s usually caught from the bite or scratch of an infected animal, most often a dog but is also common in cats, cattle, monkeys, foxes and bats.  Rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms appear, but treatment before this is very effective.

Signs and symptoms

The virus attacks the nervous system, causing inflammation on the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms usually appear after three to 12 weeks and include:

  • High temperature of 38°C or more
  • Headache
  • Feeling anxious or unwell
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle spasms
  • Frothing at the mouth

Once symptoms appear the disease is almost always fatal, but treatment before this happens is very effective.


Pre-exposure rabies vaccinations are recommended for travellers, according to UK guidance. A full course consists of three vaccinations administered into the arm on day zero, day seven and day 21-28. When time is short, a rapid course consisting of three doses on day zero, day three and day seven is available. A fourth dose at 12 months is needed complete the course.

How long do rabies vaccinations last?

How long the rabies vaccination lasts depends on your exposure risk. A once-only booster can be considered a year after completing the primary course.

Travel & Immunisation Clinic

Signs and symptoms

Those who have picked up the cholera bacteria don’t always have symptoms, but these are some of the typical symptoms you should expect:

• Severe, watery diarrhoea

• Nausea

• Vomiting

• Stomach cramps

Cholera symptoms can occur after just after a few hours, but generally develop within a few days of picking up the infection. If untreated, dehydration from severe diarrhoea and vomiting can quickly take effect, causing the body to go into shock because of a big drop in blood pressure.


If you are travelling to a country known to be affected by cholera, here are a few ways you can help protect yourself:

• Only drink boiled or sealed bottled water

• Avoid ice in your drinks and ice creams

• Wash (in safe water) or peel uncooked fruit and vegetables

• Avoid shellfish, seafood and salads

Practice good personal hygiene measures – always wash your hands in safe water before eating and visiting the bathroom


The risk to most travellers is very low and vaccination is usually only recommended in the following circumstances:

• Volunteers/aid workers/medical personnel in disaster relief situations where cholera outbreaks are likely

• Those travelling to work in slums/refugee camps or areas affected by natural disasters

• Those travelling to countries experienacing cholera outbreaks and where care with food and water is difficult or not possible

The drinkable cholera vaccine is given in two or three (depending on age) separate doses, taken from one to up to six weeks apart and completed at least a week before travelling.

Corporate Discount

We offer a 10% discount for our corporate customers and for all travellers in the charity sector. Whether you’re looking for corporate flu vaccinations or need travel vaccinations for your staff, our team of nurses and pharmacists can help. 

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