HPA : A case of rabies has been confirmed in London

Rabies case confirmed in London

23 May 2012 Last updated at 17:43

A case of rabies has been confirmed in London, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has said.

The potentially fatal disease was confirmed in a patient after they were bitten by a dog in South Asia.

The patient, whose age and gender was not given, is receiving hospital treatment. All relevant contacts have been followed up, the HPA said.

It added there was no risk to the public, including those at the hospital where the patient was being treated.

Rabies is usually transferred through saliva from the bite of an infected animal, with dogs being the most common transmitter of rabies to humans.

‘Negligible’ risk

Dr Brian McCloskey, director of the HPA for London, said: “Despite there being tens of thousands of rabies cases each year worldwide, there have been no documented laboratory confirmed cases of human-to-human spread.

“Therefore the risk to other humans or animals from a patient with rabies is considered negligible.”

More than 55,000 people are thought to die from rabies each year, with most cases occurring in South and South-East Asia.

Professor David Brown, a rabies expert at the HPA, said only four cases of human rabies acquired from dogs, all from abroad, had been identified in the UK since 2000.

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