The case of rabies

On my first day in Chiang Mai, I got bitten by a temple god dog wearing a muzzle (must be Khao San quality). No teasing, no provokation, it just approached me and bit me lightly on my leg, as if it was its duty. The bite was nothing serious and I was going to dismiss it, as long as it did not show signs of infections as per usual. But a quick googling revealed that dog bites are not something to be taken lightly and the reason is rabies. Rabies is a virus with a 100% fatal outcome if left untreated and the thing is that it is symptomless until it is too late. Once symptoms manifest themselves, you will most likely die. Simple as that. According to wikipedia, some of the symptoms include hydrophobia and aerophobia. Now it would be interesting to see what a fear of air feels like, but given a fatal outcome I would rather not. So a small bite, which is hardly visible at all resulted in a trip to a hospital and a course of five vaccinations over one month.

Some comments about Thai medical services are in order. The service is quick, professional and efficient. They speak decent English too. Medical services are rather inexpensive – around 200 baht for a doctor consultation and another 200 baht for the nurse services (taking blood pressure and temperature, performing an injection etc). In contrast the price of one VeroRab vaccination is 635 baht. No Thailand discount on this front unfortunately, thanks to the global pharmaceutical cartel.

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