Rabies Update: New Strategies for Travellers

Recorded On: 05/04/2022

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Title: Rabies Update: New Strategies for Travellers

Date: Wednesday, 04 May 2022

Time: 10.00 AM EDT UTC-04

To check your time zone, go to the time and date website: Here

Registration Fee: Complimentary to members; $70 USD for non-members

You must register to attend the webinar. 

Rabies, an almost invariably fatal disease, is estimated to cause at least 59,000 human deaths annually in over 150 countries, with 95% of cases occurring in Africa and Asia. Almost all of rabies cases are dog-mediated, with approximately half of cases occurring in children under 15.

For travellers who sustain a bite from a potentially rabid animal, anxiety and trip disruptions can ensue. Albeit rare in travellers, rabies have catastrophic consequences.

The cost of pre-exposure prophylaxis has been a major barrier to vaccine acceptance, so abbreviated schedules recently approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) may be a strategy to increase vaccine acceptance. 

Webinar Speakers:

PEC Chair: Sarah Kohl, MD
PEC Co-Chair: Yen Bui, MD, DTMH
Moderator: Prativa Pandey, MD
Agam Rao, MD
David Shlim, MD
Leo Visser, MD, PhD

Course Objectives: 

By the end of this webinar, the attendee should be able to: 
• Summarize the latest recommendations from WHO and ACIP
• Discuss rabies prevention from a Travel Medicine perspective
• Describe new products in development (vaccines, monoclonal antibodies)

Who Should Attend:
• Infectious Disease Practitioners – Doctors, Nurses, and Pharmacists
• Travel Health Practitioners – Doctors, Nurses, and Pharmacists
• Occupational Health Practitioners
• Public Health Practitioners
• Family Medicine Practitioners
• Any others who care for travelers and workers who might be exposed to rabies

Sarah Kohl


UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

Dr. Kohl is a general pediatrician who recently retired from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She practiced pediatrics and travel medicine throughout her career. When not helping trainees understand the power of statistics in daily medical practice, she can be found sailing in the Caribbean and along the East Coast of the United States.

Yen Bui, MD, DTMH

Professional Education Committee, Chair

Department of Public Health, Quebec

Dr. Yen-Giang Bui is the current Chair of the Professional Education Committee of ISTM.

She serves on various expert committees both in Travel Health and in Immunization at the provincial and federal level in Canada. She is the Vice-Chair of the Committee to Advise on Tropical Medicine and Travel, Public Health Agency of Canada, where she contributes to various working groups, and leads the working groups on yellow fever and rabies.


Dr. Bui holds a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, a Certificate in Travel Health and a Certificate of Knowledge in Clinical Tropical Medicine and Travelers' Health.

She has been a consulting physician at the Department of Public Health of the Montérégie, Québec, Canada since 2001 in Infectious Diseases, and in the past has provided primary care to asylum seekers in Montreal for many years.


Dr. Bui has been directly involved in capacity building and knowledge transfer to Travel Health practitioners in Québec for the last 20 years. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she provided support to public health practitioners, vaccinators and community organizations in her region through regular updates, and training in motivational interviewing techniques to decrease vaccine hesitancy.


Dr. Bui is a clinician at the Travel Health Clinic of the CISSS Montérégie-Centre and maintains a strong interest in post-resettlement challenges facing immigrants such as barriers to preventive care, high-risk travelers (VFRs), infectious diseases, mental health issues etc.


Prativa Pandey, MD (Moderator)

Medical Director, CIWEC Hospital and Travel Medicine center

Founding President Nepal Travel Medicine Society

Dr. Pandey was born in Nepal and obtained her medical degree in New Delhi, India. She did her residency training in Internal Medicine in Boston, USA and returned to Nepal after working for 10
years in the Boston area.

In Nepal, she joined the CIWEC Clinic and Travel Medicine Center, the oldest Travel Medicine Center in a developing country that had a rich tradition of research in travel associated illnesses under the leadership of Dr David R. Shlim. The CIWEC Clinic evolved into a hospital and Dr Pandey became the medical director of CIWEC hospital in 1998.

She was elected a counselor of the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) in 2003 and served as the President of the ISTM from 2005-2007. She is the founding President of Nepal Society of Travel Medicine. She opened the first Travel Medicine Center in Pokhara, Nepal in 2014. She served one season at the Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) aid-post as a volunteer doctor at Pheriche near Everest base camp and currently serves on the medical advisory board of the HRA.

CIWEC Hospital has participated in the global surveillance network called GeoSentinel since 1998 and Dr. Pandey has been the site director or co-site director for this project. Her publications include Traveler's Diarrhea - etiology and resistance, Altitude Illness, Pulmonary Embolism at high altitude, a novel treatment for Frostbite, in addition to other Travel Medicine related topics. 

Agam Rao, MD


U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology

Dr. Agam Rao is a physician with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology. She is board certified in infectious diseases and is a Captain in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. Dr. Rao’s areas of public health expertise include developing national guidelines (e.g., recommendations of the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices); characterizing clinical features of high consequence pathogens (i.e., rabies, poxviruses, and botulism); and investigating, both domestical and international outbreaks of infections.

David Shlim, MD

Medical Director, Jackson Hole Travel and Tropical Medicine; Medical Editor, Health Information for International Travel (The Yellow Book)

Chairman, The Medicine and Compassion Project, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Dr. Shlim is the author of over fifty-five original research papers and has written over twenty chapters in textbooks on travel medicine. He is an editor of the CDC’s Health Information for International Travel, and a co-author of the chapter on rabies in that book. He is a past president of the International Society of Travel Medicine, and the current chairman of The Medicine and Compassion Projectâ.

He pioneered travel medicine research on travelers’ diarrhea, typhoid fever, hepatitis, altitude illness, trekking deaths, and rabies. He also helped discover the diarrhea causing protozoal pathogen Cyclospora.

 Dr. Shlim is the co-author, with Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, of Medicine and Compassion, a book that offers advice from a Tibetan Buddhist lama on methods of training in compassion for health care professionals. His new memoir, A Gentle Rain of Compassion, was published in September 2022.

Prof Leo G. Visser, MD, PhD

Infectious Diseases and LUMC travel clinic, Department Head

Leiden University Medical Center

Professor Leo Visser studied medicine at the University of Leuven in Belgium. He specialized in Infectious Diseases at the Leiden University Medical Center, where he obtained his PhD (1997). He was appointed as Professor in Infectious Diseases and Travel Medicine in 2014. For many years, Professor Visser is involved in clinical care, research, teaching and training in internal medicine and infectious diseases, with the emphasis on vaccinology, vaccine-preventable and tropical infectious diseases, travel medicine and global health. Professor Visser holds a position as Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases and LUMC travel clinic at the LUMC. The travel clinic is member of the Leiden Vaccine Group and is a centre of expertise for travel medicine and vaccination research in The Netherlands.

Professor Visser holds several positions at national and international committees and scientific organizations. Currently, Professor Visser is a member of the European Expert Committee for Travel Medicine. In the past he was, amongst others, member of the steering committee of the European Network on the Surveillance of Imported Infectious Diseases (www.tropnet.eu), chair of the National Coordination Centre for Travellers' Health Advice (LCR), and former President of the International Society of Travel Medicine. His current research activities involve the safety and immunogenicity of alternative vaccination routes and vaccine responses in the more vulnerable individual with chronic diseases, advanced age, or immunosuppressed in particular those following solid organ transplantation or receiving immunobiologicals.


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