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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Rabies Virus Infection (Animal) (Human Exposure) USA

11 Oct 2016

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

  • Idaho, human exposure to rabies following contact with a bat that was captured and tested positive for rabies.
  • South Carolina: human exposure to rabies following contact with a fox that tested positive for the disease.
  • Missouri: human exposure to rabies following contact with a kitten that tested positive for rabies. Exposed people are receiving post-exposure treatment, the number of exposed people is undisclosed.

Advice for Travellers

Travellers should be aware that rabies virus circulates in terrestrial animals in much of the USA, (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 USA.