A British man dies of rabies after holidaying in Morocco

Holidaymaker dies of rabies after cat bite

The victim, a Briton, died after contracting rabies while in Morocco, The Telegraph quoted health officials as saying.

A spokesperson from Public Health England said: "PHE is reminding travellers to avoid coming into contact with animals when travelling to rabies affected countries due to the risk of catching the disease".

PHE said health workers and the victim's friends and family were being monitored and had been offered vaccinations.

Although rabies doesn't circulate in animals in the United Kingdom, there have been five United Kingdom residents who have contracted the disease after coming into contact with infected animals overseas between 2000 and 2017.

One person acquired it from a bat in Scotland in 2002, and five people contacted while travelling between 2002 and 2017, the health service said.

Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunizations at PHE said: "This is an important reminder of the precautions people should take when travelling to countries where rabies is present".

It is found throughout the world but is more common in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.

Rabies is a viral disease that causes an inflammation of the brain.

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All travellers to rabies-affected countries have been advised to avoid contact with dogs, cats and other animals wherever possible, and seek advice about the need for rabies vaccine prior to travel.

Animals in the United Kingdom are not affected apart from a small number of wild bats. The virus is transmitted to humans through animal bites, and can't spread through physical contact or airborne means in the way that other zoonotic infections can.

Symptoms appear between three to 12 weeks after infection and can include anxiety, headaches and fever.

The last recorded rabies case in Britain was in 2012, when a British grandmother was bitten by her son's pet dog in India. Once a person begins showing signs and symptoms of rabies, the disease is almost always fatal.

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

But as the disease progresses, there may be hallucinations, respiratory failure, and spasms of the muscles used for swallowing that can make it hard to drink.

According to NHS Choices, the infection is nearly always deadly once symptoms appear, but treatment before this is very effective.

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