The case of a woman who died of rabies after being bitten by a puppy during a trip to India in 2017 has been detailed in a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The 65-year-old woman with no pre-existing health conditions had been bitten six weeks before her symptoms appeared. She began experiencing pain and paresthesia in her right arm while gardening. The report states that, despite ‘aggressive treatment’ the patient died, becoming the ninth person exposed to rabies abroad who has died from the virus in the US since 2008.
In the report, the CDC warns that international travellers should consider a pretravel consultation with travel health specialists. It stated that rabies preexposure prophylaxis is warranted for travellers who will be in rabies endemic countries for long durations, in remote areas, or who plan activities that might put them at risk for exposure to rabies. It said that the event highlights the importance of obtaining a thorough pretravel health consultation, particularly when visiting countries with high incidence of emerging or zoonotic pathogens, to ensure awareness of health risks and appropriate pretravel and postexposure healthcare actions.