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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Rabies (Human Exposures) in the Americas

13 Feb 2017

On the 12 February 2017 ProMedMailLink issued a report detailing recent human exposures to rabies in the Americas.

  • Ontario, Canada: 3 people received post exposure treatment in February 2017 following contact with a rabid cat in the Glanbrook area.
  • New Jersey, USA: a man and his dog where attacked by a rabid coyote on the Columbia trail in January 2017, the man received post exposure treatment form a local hospital.
  • Arizona, USA: a rabid bobcat (lynx) attacked 4 people in separate incidents in the Sedona area in January 2017. The animal was lethally removed by authorities and tested positive for rabies.
  • Connecticut, USA: a bobcat (lynx) that attacked a woman and scratched 2 other women trying to help, in Connecticut, was shot dead and taken to be tested for rabies. The women were treated at a medical centre, the report did not confirm if they received post exposure treatment or if the animal was confirmed rabid.
  • South Carolina, USA: a person in Oconee County has started post exposure treatment for rabies following potential exposure from a stray cat confirmed to have rabies.

Advice for Travellers

Any animal contact in a rabies endemic area poses a potential risk of infection.

  • All travellers to rabies endemic areas should be aware of the risk of rabies and advised to avoid contact with animals (both wild and domestic), particularly dogs and cats.
  • Children are more vulnerable to rabies than adults as they are less likely to comprehend the risk of animal contact, less able to defend themselves from an animal attack and may not report a potential exposure.
  • All travellers to endemic areas should be aware of immediate wound care and advised to seek medical attention immediately, see Post-Exposure Rabies AdviceLink¬†