Saturday, 26 July 2008

Dogs -> rabies -> not fun times

Let me start by stating—I have never been a dog person. Now, they are on my hit list.
In the interests of keeping my blog 'real' I will tell the following story, as it happened.
A few hours ago I was walking out of a coffee shop in Surin, then a large, silent (i.e. non-barking) dog ran towards me and bit me on the leg! I did not see and did not hear the dog running towards me, but then it did start barking, and I had to fight the animal off!

I immediately washed the wound (not serious), and then started panicking about RABIES. This is a fun disease, which can be contracted by a DOG bite or even saliva from a DOG. I took myself off in a tuk-tuk to the public hospital, which everyone told me was really good. Let me add here that I know five Thai people in Surin well. I phoned each one, no one answered. They were all: busy, sleeping, or not answering. Let me also add that my morning was not the best. All in all it was shaping up to be one of those days :(.

I got to the hospital, minimal English. I pantomimed being bit and said a few times 'Maaaa jeb' while pointing at my leg. The idea got across. I heard some Thai with a few 'farangs' included and then I filled out a few forms and was finally led to a Dr. He did speak good English, asked me a few questions about my health and so forth, took my blood pressure—a bit high, I wonder why?—and then gave me a form which purchased my medicine: vaccine and antibiotics. GREAT, I just love inoculations!

I went back to the Dr, he handed me over to a guy in a white shirt, presumably a nurse. Who then made my day perfect by giving me two inoculations, one in each arm. GREAT!
By this time I was feeling sorry for myself. I finally managed to get one of my Thai friends who said she would come around 'as soon as the seminar is finished'. GREAT.

What really really annoys me about this is that in Perth, Australia, before each of my trips to the 3rd world over the last 3 years I have visited the Travellers Medical Centre, where I received a few boosters and things, and listened to the latest travel advice. Each time I have asked if I needed a rabies inoculation. Each time these comfortable Drs, sitting in their plush comfortable offices, said 'No, no need. Most dogs are ok, no problem, no need, relax, don't worry' etc. 

Anywho—three more injections over the next 10 days GREAT. You remember my planned trip to Laos and my needing a new visa? Guess what, trip is delayed, and I will have to go to the immigration office, 40 min mini-bus ride away, to request a visa extension. GREAT.

I will keep you all posted.

Moral of the story: don't get bitten by a dog. 

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