TRAVELLERS to Thailand are being warned of the growing risk of rabies. More than 100,000 people there need treatment every year after being bitten by dogs, cats or monkeys with suspected rabies. Vaccination specialists Merieux say more than half the suspect dogs in Thailand have been confirmed as rabid.

'Despite their docile appearance, many dogs who appear to be asleep in Thailand's main streets are actually suffering from the characteristic symptoms of paralysis associated with rabies victims,' the firm says. It adds that 5 per cent of emergency cases treated in Thai hospitals are dog bites.

Merieux advises travellers to Thailand to consider having the course of two injections of the pre-exposure rabies vaccine before departure. Cost of the vaccination at the British Airways Travel Clinics (071-831 5333), for example, is pounds 15 per dose.