A British man dies of rabies after holidaying in Morocco

Confirmed case of rabies

Confirmed case of rabies

But Public Health England noted that five United Kingdom residents became infected with rabies after "animal exposures abroad" between 2000 and 2017.

Public Health England (PHE) revealed the news alongside a renewed warning to travellers as to the risk of the potentially fatal disease - but offered no further information on the precise location of the case or the person concerned.

It said that while there was no risk to the wider public, as a precautionary measure, health workers and close contacts of the person who died were being assessed and offered vaccination if necessary.

A rare but very serious infection of the brain and nerves, rabies is usually caught from the bite or scratch of an infected animal.

Rabies is not found in wild or domestic animals in the United Kingdom, with the exception of rabies-like viruses in a small number of wild bats.

If you're travelling to a country where rabies is common, you should consider getting vaccinated if you plan to stay for a month or more.

Rabies is common in other parts of the world, especially in Asia and Africa.

Rabies, which is nearly always fatal once symptoms appear, is an infectious viral disease which affects the brain and central nervous system. It is said that the disease is nearly always fatal unless the contaminated person gets treatment soon after being bitten or scratched.

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The spokesperson added: "Anyone who has been bitten, scratched, or licked by an animal in a country with rabies, or has had direct contact with a bat in this country, should take immediate action by washing the wound or site of exposure with plenty of soap and water".

More country specific information on rabies is available through the National Travel Health Network and Centre's website.

Animals in the United Kingdom are not affected apart from a small number of wild bats.

If you are travelling to a country affected by rabies, you should avoid contact with dogs, cats and other animals.

It said symptoms could appear within several days of exposure to an infected animal, but could take years to emerge.

Initial symptoms can include anxiety, headaches and fever.

The most recent case was in 2012, when a United Kingdom citizen was bitten by a dog in South Asia. As the disease progresses, there may be hallucinations, respiratory failure and muscle spasms that make it hard to drink.

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