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Bitten in Morocco, died in UK.

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A Briton has died in the UK after being bitten by a cat during holiday in Morocco.  The Briton died of Rabies after being bitten by a cat infected with Rabies Virus.

The Public Health England (PHE) issued a warning on Monday to UK residents. Between 2007 and 2017, 5 cases of human rabies due to animal exposure abroad occurred in the UK, according to PHE.

The death of the Briton does not constitute a risk to the wider public. However, as a precautionary measure, “health workers and close contacts are being assessed and offered vaccination when necessary.”

You may also like: Do you need a rabies vaccine?

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisations at PHE said:

This is an important reminder of the precautions people should take when travelling to countries where rabies is present. If you are bitten, scratched or licked by an animal you must wash the wound or site of exposure with plenty of soap and water and seek medical advice without delay.

The Organisation issued a warning, advising UK residents to take precautions when they travel abroad:

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. Local medical advice should be sought without delay, even in those who have been previously vaccinated.

Rabies is a primary disease of animals that can infect humans.  It is a highly preventable disease. Nonetheless, it is also a disease with high case fatality rate (CFR) when fully established. Case fatality rate measures the probability of death occurring among the number of confirmed  cases of the disease among people infected.

There have been global calls on more concerted efforts against rabies so much so that 28th September every year is designated as World Rabies Day!