Going travelling across the whole of Central America for two months...

Is it worth spending the money (around £150 - £200 in London) and the time (three appointments) getting a rabies vaccination before we head out to Central America?

Or do travellers tend to risk it?

I do understand that even if we get the three pre-bite jabs, we would have to follow it up with two post-bite jabs. However this would be easier and much cheaper than the five post-bite jabs we would otherwise have to have (and no need for the antidote shot into the wound). Also I understand that we would have more time (48 hrs instead of 24 hrs) to find a hospital if we get the three shots now.

Are Central American hospitals usually equipped to deal with rabies? Any experiences of shortage of the antidote? Is there a regional difference (as we will be on the move)?

Do folk actually get bitten on holiday?

Most of the world actually seems to be red (high risk) on the rabies map - i cannot find any specific info for Central America beyond what the NHS website says, which is very generic.

  • We are covered by travel insurance
  • We are not planning on going anywhere very very rural, I don't think - beyond say Monteverde, Isla de Ometepe, Bay Islands, Caye Ambergris etc. Also will touch on bigger places like Antigua, San Cristobal, Panama City etc
  • I have actually been to multiple parts of Asia without the jab; just getting paranoid for no reason most probably :)
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    I think it would be better to focus your question on the availability of care in South America (as it's an objective question and it's mentioned as a criteria to decide whether you need to get a vaccine by the NHS). The rest just invites speculation. After all, we are talking about risks and probabilities, anecdotes like “I went there and nothing happened” or “I have been bitten by a dog in that city” are not much use to judge that. We can all be swayed by a good story, but I don't think random travellers can actually provide more insight than healthcare organisations. – Relaxed May 14 '15 at 10:04
  • FCO suggests medical care is "of a high standard" (and they are usually pretty pessimistic in my experience) in Costa Rica. gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/costa-rica/health – Calchas May 14 '15 at 21:55

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