A British traveler has died from rabies after being bitten by a rabid cat while holidaying in Morocco, according to The Telegraph.
While details on the case remain relatively scant, Public Health England (PHE) issued a warning to travellers after the Briton contracted the disease.
According to reports, authorities have so far refused to confirm the victim's gender, or where in the UK they passed away, citing "patient confidentiality."
While the World Health Organisation (WHO) says that rabies is responsible for thousands of deaths every year, it is extremely rare to find it in Europe and the UK. The WHO says that Western Europe is considered to be ‘low risk' for contracting rabies, while some countries in Eastern Europe are designated as ‘moderate.' Africa and the Middle East are listed as ‘high risk.'
Alright y’all. We all know bats carry #rabies right? If not, well #nowyouknow— Fef🖤 (@hello_fefi) November 9, 2018
Yes, they are super cute. No, you should not touch them. If you find one in your house call animal control. But please, DO NOT TOUCH THEM!!
No case of a human contracting rabies from within the UK has been reported since 1902.There have however been recent cases of overseas contraction. In 2012, a 50-year-old woman caught the viral disease when she was bitten by a family dog while visiting India. Although she was reportedly treated in a London hospital after being diagnosed, she died two months after being bitten. In 2002, David Macrae, a wildlife naturalist, died from the disease after being bitten overseas by a bat. At the time, Mr Macrae's death marked the first case of a rabies-induced fatality in Britain for 100 years.
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According to official UK statistics, between the years 2000-2017, five British residents caught the disease after being bitten or scratched abroad by an animal. It is said that the disease is almost always fatal unless the contaminated person gets treatment soon after being bitten or scratched.
#Rabies has been a notable problem in #Morocco in recent years. In a country where there is rabies, seek medical attention after being bitten by any mammal at all. Dog, cat, donkey, bat, mongoose, whatever. Get it seen to.https://t.co/oDnh8Vaa3C— James Munro (@JamesMunro5) November 12, 2018
Talking of the news of the latest death, Dr Mary Ramsay of PHE has been widely quoted as saying that, "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."
"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," she added.