Brit Dies After Contracting Rabies From Cat Bite In Morocco

British holidaymaker dies after contracting rabies while on holiday in Morocco

A Briton has died after contracting rabies while overseas in Morocco, health officials have said.

The online medium reported that Public Health England issued a warning to travellers after the United Kingdom resident contracted the disease after being bitten by a rabid cat.

There is no risk to the wider public in relation to this case but, as a precautionary measure, health workers and close contacts are being assessed and offered vaccination when necessary.

There has been just one case of a human obtaining the disease from a native animal since 1902, when in 2002 a person was bitten by an infected bat in Scotland.

Travelers are urged to stay away from dogs, cats and other animals when traveling to countries, especially in Asia and Africa, where rabies is common.

PHE issued a reminder to travellers to avoid coming into contact with animals when in rabies-affected countries. Local medical advice should be sought without delay, even in those who have been previously vaccinated.

It said symptoms could appear within several days of exposure to an infected animal, but could take years to emerge.

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Vaccines are extremely effective if provided promptly after exposure to rabies, but the symptoms are always fatal if allowed to fully develop.

"But it can be as short as a week and that's why seeking prompt care and getting the vaccination is so important".

This is an important reminder of the precautions people should take when travelling to countries where rabies is present.

For more information about the risk of rabies in bats in the United Kingdom see PHE's information for individuals who have been bitten by bats.

Rabies can be dealt with very effectively if treated correctly and immediately; more information can be found on the HSPC website here. The virus is transmitted to humans through animal bites, and can't spread through physical contact or airborne means in the way that other zoonotic infections can. The Telegraph reports the transmission occurred several weeks ago and that the victim didn't receive the lifesaving rabies vaccine in time.

Initial symptoms include anxiety, headaches and fever, which can progress into hallucinations and respiratory failure, according to PHE. The last recorded rabies case in the United Kingdom was in 2012.

Once the symptoms of rabies become apparent, there is nothing that can be done.

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