More than a dozen NSW residents each month are seeking treatment for bites and scratches from animals sustained while travelling overseas.
The state’s health department has issued a warning to travellers about the need to be cautious around foreign animals after 145 patients were treated so far in 2023.
Travellers sought treatment after being in contact with animals in popular tourist areas in southeast Asia, with the majority of incidents involving monkeys and dogs.
Watch the latest news and stream for free on 7plus >>
NSW Health One Health branch director Keira Glasgow said many animals carried severe and life-threatening diseases.
She said while wild animals carried more infections, people should also avoid contact with stray dogs and cats.
Orangutan ‘evicts’ possum by launching it from enclosure at Perth Zoo
Deadly discovery at popular Sydney beach sparks warning
“Some animals carry infections which can be passed to people through bites, scratches or animal fluids and make people very ill,” Glasgow said.
“Wild and feral animals overseas such as dogs, monkeys, cats and bats can carry a host of diseases, like rabies.
“Rabies can be transmitted by a bite or scratch from an infected animal and while it is a rare disease, it is fatal.”
The NSW Health Department has issued a warning to travellers about being around foreign animals. Credit: EPA
Tourists are being urged to avoid areas where animals can climb on, bite or scratch them and warned not to feed, play with or try to touch wild or stray animals.
People should also seek urgent medical advice if they are bitten or scratched in order to prevent rabies, tetanus and other bacterial infections.
Woman’s warning over horrific Airbnb travel experience
Sale of the century: Hamilton Island owners look to sell
If you’d like to view this content, please adjust your Cookie Settings.