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Rabies (Human) in United States (Update)

18 Mar 2013

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene have confirmed that the patient who recently died of rabies in Maryland contracted the infection through organ transplantation carried out more than a year ago.

The patient was one of four individuals who had received an organ from the same donor. The other organ recipients are receiving post-exposure rabies prophylaxis. Contact tracing is being carried out to identify other possible human exposures to rabies virus.

Advice for Travellers

Travellers must be aware that rabies virus circulates in terrestrial animals in the US 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.