Virginia resident gets rabies

Individual contracted disease while traveling abroad


RICHMOND, Va. – A Virginia resident contracted rabies after being bitten by a dog while traveling in India, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Although the only documented cases of human-to-human transmission of the disease have been through organ transplantation, VDH is assessing those who had direct contact with this patient to see if there was any exposure.

VDH is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and health care centers where the patient sought care, to assess any health care worker who potentially may have been exposed to the rabies virus due to contact with this patient.

VDH is also working to identify any family members and close contacts who may have been exposed to the rabies virus due to contact with this patient. 

The Department of Health says it does not plan release any more information about the patient.

Human rabies cases in the United States are rare, with only one to three cases reported annually. Twenty-eight cases of human rabies have been diagnosed in the United States since 2006, of which eight patents were infected outside the United States and its territories. The last time VDH reported a human rabies case was in 2009. This patient had also traveled to India and was bitten by a dog while there.

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