Animals

Latest update: - Authors: Mieke Croughs, Ula Maniewski-Kelner

Animals usually avoid people, but can attack if they feel threatened or are ill or injured. Animals will also approach you if they are used to human contact or if they want something, for example food or drinks.

Animal bites can cause severe skin infections or rabies infection. Touching animals can also cause severe diseases.

Prevention

Keep your distance

Stay away from unknown animals

  • Don't touch them.
  • Don't feed them.
  • Don't pet them.
  • Make sure they can't lick you.
  • Make sure their saliva doesn't get into your eyes or mouth.
  • If animals want your food or drink, give it to them.
  • Do not touch dead animals.

Caves

Avoid areas, such as caves, where bats may be present.

Camels and dromedaries

Avoid contact with (products of) camels and dromedaries in countries where MERS  is present.

Poultry

Avoid markets and other places with poultry in countries with a risk of bird flu.

Urine

Avoid places that are contaminated with animal or rodent faeces or urine.

Your pet

Ensure that any pets travelling with you do not come into contact with local animals.

Have you been bitten?

Have you been bitten, scratched or did animal saliva end up in your mouth, eyes or a wound?

  • Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water for 15 minutes.
  • Then disinfect thoroughly with iodine (e.g. iso-Betadine®) or with 60-80% ethanol.
  • Consult a doctor as soon as possible to determine the follow-up. Sometimes antibiotics are needed to prevent skin infections or measures to prevent rabies. Call the travel assistance insurance company for advice on reliable medical facilities.

Did you wake up in a room with a bat? 

Bites by bats are sometimes not noticed. Bats can transmit rabies. Therefore, consult a doctor as soon as possible to determine the follow-up.

Do you have any symptoms that may indicate an infection?

Seek medical advice if you suffer any symptoms.

Also refer to: scorpions and snakes.

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