CDC [U.S.] – MMWR News Synopsis for Friday, January 4, 2019

CDC/ACIP [to 5 Jan 2019]
MMWR News Synopsis for Friday, January 4, 2019
Human Rabies — Virginia, 2017
While human rabies deaths are rare in the United States, they are still highly prevalent in many other countries. Travelers to other countries should consult the CDC Yellow Book and their medical provider prior to travels to countries where rabies is present, particularly if they are engaging in activities that will put them in close proximity to animals such as dogs, cats, and wildlife. A 65-year-old Virginia resident died from rabies after being bitten by a puppy while vacationing in India. Rabies is a highly lethal virus, but is preventable when medical care and vaccination are sought shortly after an exposure. Unfortunately, the victim did not seek medical care after the bite, and six weeks later developed the first signs of rabies after returning to her home in Virginia. Despite intensive medical care, the victim passed away. Rabies is primarily transmitted by bites from animals when virus in the saliva is introduced into a victim’s body. In very rare occasions, non-bite transmission may occur when saliva infects fresh open wounds or mucous membranes (such as the eyes or mouth). A public health investigation identified 72 hospital staff with suspected exposures to infectious materials; all were advised to receive vaccination.