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Rabies (Animal) in United States

23 Aug 2012

A fox that attacked a domestic dog in New Hanover County in the state of North Carolina on the east coast of the United States (US) subsequently tested positive for rabies virus infection. This is the 13th confirmed case of animal rabies in New Hanover County in 2012.

Fortunately the dog that was attacked had been vaccinated against rabies virus and required a booster dose only post-exposure. In this instance there had been no human exposure to rabies virus.

Advice for Travellers


Travellers should be aware of the rabies risk in terrestrial animals in the United States e.g. raccoons and skunks and should avoid contact with wildlife. All animal bites should be reported and carefully assessed; post-exposure treatment is accessible.

Bats in any country in the world apart from New Zealand and Antarctica can carry rabies virus. As the bite from a bat can go undetected, particularly if the person is asleep, all contact with a bat should be reported.