A man died of rabies after being bitten by a cat

photo 1475518112798 86ae358241eb CAT

He was not immediately treated

A British man has died of rabies after being bitten by a cat in Morocco, according to the British Public Health Agency, which advises tourists to follow vaccination instructions. The cat had bitten the man several weeks ago and he was not given immediate treatment. The country's health authorities have not provided further information on the case.

According to Jimmy Whiteworth, a professor at the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the symptoms of rabies in humans appear two to three months after infection with the virus. "But this can happen in a week, which is why it is important to seek medical help soon and get vaccinated," he said. "In this case, the patient was not vaccinated in time."   

Rabies affects the nervous system, especially the brain, and eventually causes complete paralysis after death, explained Jonathan Ball, a professor of molecular virology at the University of Nottingham. "There are very effective vaccines, but they must be used before the onset of symptoms," he said. 

According to the British Public Health Agency, a case of rabies in which a man became ill after being bitten was recorded in Scotland in 2002. Between 2000 and 2017, five other people living in Britain became ill with rabies after being "exposed to an infected animal abroad ".   

"Rabies is widespread in some parts of the world, especially in Asia and Africa," warns the British Public Health Agency. "All travelers visiting countries where rabies cases have been reported should, as far as possible, avoid contact with dogs, cats and other animals and seek advice on the need for a vaccine before their trip."