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Briton dies from rabies after cat bite in Morocco

A Briton has died after contracting rabies while on holiday in Morocco, health officials have said.

Public Health England officials said the victim became infected after being bitten by a cat.

PHE issued a reminder to travellers to avoid coming into contact with animals when in rabies-affected countries.

Rabies is not found in wild or domestic animals in the UK, but five Britons became infected between 2000 and 2017 after “animal exposures abroad”.

Some species of bats in the UK can carry a rabies-like virus.

‘Important reminder’

PHE did not release further details about the death.

It said that while there is no risk to the wider public, as a precautionary measure, health workers and close contacts of the person who died are being assessed and offered vaccination if necessary.

Rabies is a viral infection that affects the brain and central nervous system. It is passed on through bites and scratches from an infected animal.

There are no documented instances of it being transmitted via human to human contact. The disease is common in Asia and Africa.

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 last recorded rabies case in Britain was in 2012, after a UK resident was bitten by a dog in South Asia.

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BBC News – Health