I didn’t contract rabies during my recent trip to Bali, Indonesia. But, I was REALLY stupid and could have.
Bali has a rabies problem among its dog population. The dogs I saw on the island ran around loose. I avoided them, as directed by the nurse at the travel medicine clinic where I picked up a few vaccinations before I left. The rabies vaccine wasn’t one of them.
The rabies vaccine is expensive, costing hundreds of dollars for a series of shots. Getting the shots in advance may save your life if you can’t get to a hospital in a hurray. It doesn’t, however, prevent you from having to get more expensive shots after infection. Rabies is a killer and it HAS to be treated.
Driving back to my hotel after a day of scuba diving in Amed, Bali, we passed a colony of macaques next to the road. My driver stopped so I could take photos. He threw out some food to draw them closer.
It worked. They came close enough to probably snatch my camera out of my hand if they hadn’t been so interested in eating. They were certainly close enough to bite.
There have been reported cases of rabies from monkey bites in recent years. Thankfully, I wasn’t among them.