Brit Dies After Contracting Rabies From Cat Bite In Morocco
A spokesperson from Public Health England said: "PHE is reminding travellers to avoid coming into contact with animals when travelling to rabies affected countries due to the risk of catching the disease.
"This reminder comes after a UK resident sadly died after becoming infected with rabies following a cat bite during a visit to Morocco.
"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.
"Rabies is passed on through injuries such as bites and scratches from an infected animal. There are no documented instances of direct human to human transmission."
Although rabies doesn't circulate in animals in the UK, there have been five UK residents who have contracted the disease after coming into contact with infected animals abroad between 2000 and 2017.
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PHE also offered advice to anyone who may be scratched or bitten by an animal while overseas and is worried about getting rabies.
The spokesperson added: "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."
Thankfully, the condition is pretty rare, but once symptoms appear it is nearly always fatal, and treatment usually consists of making the person as comfortable as possible.
We're reminding travellers to avoid coming into contact with animals when travelling to rabies affected countries due to the risk of catching the disease: https://t.co/hGdDRLcUQq
- Public Health England (@PHE_uk) November 12, 2018
If the condition is diagnosed before symptoms have appear, however, treatment is very effective.
Without treatment, symptoms will usually develop between three and 12 weeks, but they can be later or sooner.
Earlier symptoms can include headaches, high temperature (38C or above), generally feeling unwell or anxious. Within days, other symptoms including confusion and aggressive behaviour, muscles spasms, foaming at the mouth, an inability to move and hallucinations, may appear.
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