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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Rabies Virus Infection (Animal) (Human Exposure)

31 May 2016

Rabies virus infection continues to be reported in the United States (U.S.), resulting in human exposure to the virus. The media has highlighted rabies exposure in several states of the U.S.

  • Texas, 27 people were evaluated and/or treated in Kerr County following exposure to a female dog confirmed rabid and her young puppies.
  • South Carolina, 5 people referred for evaluation and/or treatment following exposure to a stray dog confirmed rabid in the Lynchburg area. A further 2 people referred for evaluation and/or treatment following exposure to a dog confirmed rabid in Sumter County.
  • Missouri, over 25 people referred for evaluation and/or treatment following exposure to a 6 week old puppy confirmed rabid in Howell County.
  • Colorado, 3 people undergoing treatment following exposure to bat confirmed rabid in the city of Pueblo.
  • Oregon, a man is undergoing treatment following exposure to bat confirmed rabid in Corvallis.

Advice for Travellers

Travellers should be aware that rabies virus circulates in terrestrial animals in much of the U.S., (e.g. raccoons, bats and skunks) and they should avoid contact with wildlife. All animal bites should be reported and carefully assessed; post-exposure treatment is accessible in the U.S.