Briton dies from rabies after trip to Morocco

Boy dies after contact with rabid bat

Public Health England (PHE) said that anyone who has been bitten, scratched, or licked by an animal in a country with rabies, or has had direct contact with a bat in this country, should take immediate action by washing the wound or site of exposure with plenty of soap and water.

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.

Rabies is a rare but serious infection which is nearly always fatal when symptoms appear.

Thankfully, the condition is pretty rare, but once symptoms appear it is almost always fatal, and treatment usually consists of making the person as comfortable as possible.

PHE said health workers and the victim's friends and family were being monitored and had been offered vaccinations.

Since 2000, there have been six cases of human rabies in the United Kingdom acquired from animals overseas.

However, five Britons contracted rabies overseas from animals between 2000 and 2017.

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PHE head of immunisations Mary Ramsay said the fatality in Morocco was an important reminder of the precautions people should take when travelling to countries where rabies is present.

Animals in the United Kingdom are not affected apart from a small number of wild bats.

An estimated 95 percent of instances occur in Africa and Asia, according to the World Health Organization, with over 99 percent of cases due to dog bites. It is usually caught from the bite or scratch from an infected animal.

For more information on the risk of rabies in different countries, see the country information pages on the National Travel Health Network and Centre's (NaTHNaC's) website, TravelHealthPro. The last recorded case before this one was in 2012 - the individual was bitten by a dog in South Asia.

Initial symptoms include anxiety, headaches and fever, which can progress into hallucinations and respiratory failure, according to PHE. As the disease progresses, there may be hallucinations, respiratory failure and muscle spasms that make it hard to drink.

He added: "The typical time interval (for symptoms to appear) is two to three months, so you do have enough time (to seek care)".

If the condition is diagnosed before symptoms have appear, however, treatment is very effective.

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