Published Date: 2012-05-29 09:36:49
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Rabies - UK (03): (London) ex India, fatal outcome
Archive Number: 20120529.1148757
RABIES - UK (03): (LONDON) ex INDIA, FATAL OUTCOME
A ProMED-mail post
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International Society for Infectious Diseases
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Date: Mon 28 May 2012
Source: BBC News England [edited]
A woman who was being treated in London for rabies has died. The woman -- whose identity has not been revealed -- was bitten by a dog in South Asia [India] and died over the weekend [26-27 May 2012]. She was being treated at London's Hospital for Tropical Diseases after twice attending A&E at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford. Meanwhile, it has emerged a patient in Leeds has sought medical help for a dog bite which occurred abroad. The 2 cases are not being linked.
Rabies can be transferred from the bite of an infected animal, with dogs being the most common transmitter to humans. A statement from University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: "We regret to announce that a patient being treated for rabies by the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and colleagues at University College Hospital died over the weekend." Meanwhile, an investigation has been launched into how the woman was turned away from the emergency department at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford. A spokesman for the hospital previously said that as the UK is rabies-free, if a patient went to a hospital with vague symptoms, a doctor was unlikely to consider rabies as a diagnosis unless the patient highlighted wild animal contact in an at-risk country. "The hospital responded to the information supplied by the patient at the time," he said.
On Friday [25 May 2012] it was announced that a patient in Leeds had sought treatment for a possible case of rabies after being bitten by a dog while abroad. The Health Protection Agency said there were "no links" between the 2 cases.
More than 55 000 people are estimated to die from the disease every year, with most cases occurring in developing countries, particularly South and South-East Asia. The hospital previously reassured patients, visitors, and staff there was no risk to them as a result of the case.
[The presumed absence of post-exposure treatment after exposure in India, coupled with the late diagnosis in the England, made the fatal outcome in this case inevitable.
The status of the suspected rabies case in Leeds is unclear. No information has been released concerning the date and place of possible exposure, whether prompt post-exposure treatment was available at the time of exposure, or whether the diagnosis has been confirmed by laboratory analysis. Further information is awaited. - Mod.CP
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