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Rabies Alert Teams To Be Established In Bali To Protect Tourists

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Tourists traveling to Bali in the coming weeks are being urged to be vigilant about the risk of rabies.

This news comes after two more residents were bitten by a dog that has gone on to test positive for rabies. Humans can contract rabies by being bitten by animals that carry the virus, such as dogs and monkeys. 

Black dog and white dog on beach next to the sea in Bali in daytime.jpg

There are tens of thousands of dogs in Bali. Many are pet or community-owned dogs, and some are strays.

The provincial and regency governments have solid programs in place to help prevent the spread of rabies.

Free mass vaccination clinics for dogs are held on a regular basis throughout the island, and at the busiest monkey temples, the wild troops of monkeys are also regularly vaccinated against rabies. 

However, there has been an increasing number of reports of both residents and tourists getting bitten by dogs and monkeys.

It has been made public that two residents who live near Keramas Beach were bitten by the same rabies-positive dog on the same day.

The pair are receiving anti-rabies vaccination treatment. With this in mind, tourists heading to Bali are reminded to check their rabies vaccination status and take suitable precautions to mitigate the risk of a bite. 

From the Bali side, a Rabies Alert Team will be deployed across the capital to help suppress transmission. The Head of the Denpasar City Agriculture Service, AA Bayu Brahmasta, has called for all stakeholders to take an even more proactive approach to tackling rabies in Bali. 

He told reporters “The Rabies Alert Team will be tasked with providing education and outreach to the community.”

The Rabies Alert Team will operate primarily in Denpasar though localised rabies response teams are in operation throughout the regencies, as well as animal welfare organisations like BAWA who also do work to vaccinate animals and educate communities. 

Brahmasta added “The Denpasar City Agriculture Service is maximizing [the work of] the Rabies Alert Team. This team is tasked with providing education to the public to minimize the spread of rabies and minimize the incident of bite victims.”

According to Brahmasta, there are 82,195 known rabies-transmitting animals in Denpasar City alone, with vaccination coverage of over 70%.

@adventuringwithclare I have mixed feelings about the monkeys of Bali 🙈 They are just SO smart I’m afraid they’re going to punk me 😂 the monkeys here will actually steal your belongings and you will have to bargain with them to get it back! If you give them enough food, they will give whatever they stole back to you. Like WHAT?!?! Hahaha Overall was such a fun experience, but I am totally fine with watching monkeys from afar for the rest of my life 😂 #ubudmonkeyforest #explorebali #solotravel ♬ original sound – Clare

However, an islandwide rabies vaccination shortage is proving a concern for both humans and animals.

On Monday 20th November the Head of Disease Prevention and Control for Denpasar City, Dr. Anak Agung Ngurah Gede Dharmayuda, called on the public not to panic amid the anti-rabies vaccination shortage. 

It is not only in Denpasar City where there is a storage of anti-rabies vaccines. In Buleleng Regency, this week’s stock sits at just 300 doses.

Close-Up-Of-Someone-Getting-Covid-Vaccine-In-the-Arm

The Head of the Buleleng District Health Service, Dr. Sucipto, said that he and his teams are prioritizing high-risk bite cases given the shortage. 

Dr Sucipto told reporters “Previously there was some leeway in the policy of giving anti-rabies vaccine, but after the availability became minimal, we made a more selective process of vaccines and gave them to high-risk bite cases.” On average, Buleleng Regency alone sees four bite cases every day. 

Three-Dogs-Sit-On-A-Beach-In-Bali

The shortage of anti-rabies vaccine in Bali is being felt by tourists. Last week an Australian mother on vacation told reporters of their ordeal after her 10-year-old daughter was bitten by a monkey at the Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest.

Amanda Tabone told reporters that she was turned away from one hospital that told her they had no anti-rabies vaccination in stock. 

Two-Monkeys-Play-on-Mossy-Stone-in-Daytime-at-Ubud-Monkey-Forest-in-Bali

Tabone had to contact her insurance providers in Australia in order to track down a hospital with vaccine supplies.

Her caught did receive a course of anti-rabies vaccinations, immunoglobin treatment, and herpes medication as a precaution following the bite. 

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Alex

Sunday 26th of November 2023

Announced today, 24th November, 2023. By the Head of the Bali Health Service, I Nyoman Gede Anom :

"There have been a total of 62,672 cases of potential rabies transmitting bites on Bali between January and November 2023" !!!!!!

"We have rabies vaccine for bad bite cases, eg on the face".

He seems to think that is acceptable. Mind boggling.

Just don't go to this disaster of a place. I made that decision when I left after 3 months in May. Bali is an absolute mess, no matter what the Bali Sun claims in it's articles.

Exp

Friday 24th of November 2023

@Shorty, "all good at the eastern front?

From www.who-rabies-bulletin.org,

"Human dog borne rabies cases in Bali Monday, July 3, 2023 Bali Provincial Health Office report 11 people having died due to rabies infection from January to early July 2023. Although rabies incidience in humans in the region has decreased by almost 64 percent, rabies is still a big challenge in Indonesia with an average of more than 80,000 cases of bites per year and an average of 68 deaths during the last three years".

Hendrik

Friday 24th of November 2023

I was nipped by a very ugly dog out in a small village and went to the local puskesmas, and for a 100,00rp donation was given the first shot. Then the drama began. Eventually one decent doctor who had worked overseas said they won't give it to foreigners at the public hospitals, you have to pay a lot for it. And so, I spent the next week calling every clinic in Bali and eventually got the two last two shots and paid for them up front. I was preparing to go to Thailand or Singapore to get them. The Aussie lady whose kid was bitten had to pay 9.6 juta for the first shot only. Thats how kind and friendly these people are here. They hate us.

Alex

Sunday 26th of November 2023

@Hendrik, tourists and expat residents need to realise that they seen as 100,000 Dollar bills on legs. The Balinese totally ignore us unless they think that they can overcharge for immediate health care, taxi rides, "Visa services" or the rubbish sold in shops on Jl Legian, or anywhere in Ubud. The stupid people who talk crap about "Wellness", "Yoga" etc will get a shock when they need genuine aid for wellness. As you said, the general answer is to fly out to another country. Its not an option for a potential rabies infection because the timescale to reach Thailand, Malaysia or Singapore is much too long.

Exp

Saturday 25th of November 2023

@Hendrik, Yes. There is a lack of humanity.

Australia recently donated 400,000 dog rabies vaccine to Bali. When an Australian tourist urgently need a VAR shot after bitten by Bali dog, the very same Balinese charge exorbitant prices for VAR or no VAR available (!). No shame.

If the lady was charged 9.6 Juta that is 4 times reported elsewhere (2 Juta for 3 shots in Ubud hospital, July 2023). But as I mentioned elsewhere the big issue is complete lack of availability of VAR shots (like currently in Denpasar). Something tourists are not told when booking for Bali.

Fred

Friday 24th of November 2023

@Shorty, More in hacking. You can post under whatever name you choose or copy. U chose Fred but I could have chosen anyone if the regulars

Shorty

Friday 24th of November 2023

@Shorty, The purpose of this post is to show how easy it is to hack someone. I've used my name and a different, unrelated email address.