No, I don’t have rabies and neither does any one I know. A year ago when we were getting our vaccinations in preparation for moving to Burundi, we were strongly advised to get a rabies vaccination because we are outdoorsy types and not only will we be facing feral cats and dogs, but bats and monkeys as well. However, we were also told that the vaccination is extremely difficult to get in the United States but that we’d probably be able to get it in Burundi.
Huh? America doesn’t have it but Burundi will? That didn’t sound right.
Of course, Burundi did not have spare rabies vaccinations. You can get the shots if you get bit by something, but preventative medicine? That’s just crazy talk. It’s only taken a year, but a nurse I work with has gotten her hands on enough stuff to vaccinate us. And it arrived just in time, because a friend of mine was bit by a monkey down south in the Nyanza Lac area and we’ve recently seen monkeys on our street. Monkey invasion!
The vaccination is three shots within a month. We had our first shot on Tuesday. My arm is achy but surprisingly I haven’t had any other side effects. (You may remember that I actually got the mumps and measles for a weekend after my MMR shot; only on one side of my body though.) After this round, I should be vaccinated against nearly every possible microbe, bacteria, germ, virus, parasite…. Except cholera. Apparently cholera vaccines are even harder to come by than rabies vaccines.
Oh and as a bonus, I don’t have H1N1. The nurse doesn’t know exactly what I’ve got but the most likely culprit is irritation from all the smoke and dust in the air, since my symptoms worsen whenever the air quality worsens.