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Rabies Virus Infection (Animal) (Human Exposure)

29 Mar 2016

Rabies virus infection continues to be reported among wildlife 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.

  • Pennsylvania, 2 humans and a dog were exposed to a rabid raccoon with another human exposed to a rabid feral cat.
  • Florida, a man was attacked by a rabid feral cat.
  • Virginia, 2 women were bitten by a rabid fox on separate occassions and a man was bitten by a rabid raccoon.
  • Massachusetts, 2 humans were attacked by a rabid fox.
  • New Jersey, 4 humans were in contact with a cat with rabies and rabies post-exposure prophylaxis was initiated.

Advice for Travellers

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