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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Rabies (Animal) in Israel

20 May 2015

A wolf suspected to be rabid attacked a group of 7 individuals whilst they were visiting the Golan Heights in the northern region of Israel. The wolf was not captured but was found dead 5 days later on 14 May 2015. Laboratory testing of the animal proved positive for rabies virus.

All those bitten by the wolf began post-exposure rabies prophylaxis immediately after the attack. The last human case of rabies in Israel occurred in 2003.

This is the 6th case of animal rabies in the north of Israel in 2015, consiting of 3 dogs, 2 wolves and one cat. Four cases were located in the Golan Heights bordering with Syria and 2 werelocated in northern Galilee bordering Lebanon.

Advice for Travellers

Israel is considered by WHO to be a high risk destinaton for rabies. Travellers are advised to avoid all animal contact and report any bites for medical assessment promptly. Pre-exposure vaccine is available for those considered to be at risk.