After a vacation in Morocco where a cat bit him, a British man died of the rabies virus. Health authorities reminded us of the steps to take before traveling to a country exposed to this threat. If you want to travel far, check your vaccinations first. That is necessarily the message that the British public health agency Public Health England (PHE) wishes to convey after the death of the British man.
The man was reportedly bitten by a cat during his stay in the before-mentioned African country and died of rabies a few weeks later due to lack of immediate treatment.
“Rabies does not circulate in domestic and wild animals in the United Kingdom, although bat species can carry a virus that is close to it,” notes the Public Health England.
British Man Died of Rabies After a Cat Bite Him While He Was on Vacation in Morocco
For example, cases of rabies in the United Kingdom are sporadic, but since the virus remains very present in some parts of the world, particularly in Asia and Africa, anyone traveling to these regions should be aware of the risk of infection.
“All travelers to rabies-affected countries should avoid contact with dogs, cats, and other animals as soon as possible and should inquire about rabies vaccination needs before traveling,” the PHE said. “If you have been bitten, scratched or licked by an animal you must thoroughly clean the wound or exposed area with soap and water and seek medical advice without delay,” recommends Dr. Mary Ramsay, Head of the Immunization Department at the PHE.
The rabies virus belongs to the genus Lyssavirus. It is present in animal saliva and can, therefore, be transmitted by biting, scratching or licking skin or mucous membranes. Symptoms occur after a few days or months of incubation. They begin with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) and various neuropsychiatric disorders, including anxiety and agitation.
Every year, approximately 17 million people worldwide receive treatment after exposure to animals suspected of being rabid and 59,000 people die of rabies.