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Last Updated: Friday, 22 July, 2005, 11:49 GMT 12:49 UK
Rabies victim dies after holiday
Goa graphic
A British woman has died after contracting rabies on holiday in the popular Asia tourist destination, Goa.

Health officials said the woman, who is in her 30s and from Bury in Greater Manchester, was admitted to Fairfield General Hospital.

She was transferred to the Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Liverpool, where she died on Saturday.

The Health Protection Agency North West said hospital staff were offered rabies vaccines as a "precautionary measure".

'Low risk'

The woman was bitten by a dog in the Indian tourist spot visited by thousands of Britons each year.

A spokesman for the Health Protection Agency North West said: "There is no record of rabies ever being passed from a patient to a healthcare worker, but to be absolutely safe staff in both hospitals who had close personal contact with the patient have been offered rabies vaccine.

"This really is a precautionary measure and we are able to reassure these staff that if any risk to them existed at all, it would have been very low indeed.

"This is a sad time for the patient's family and they have our deepest sympathy and condolences."

Rabies is a viral infection which is transmitted to humans in saliva when they are bitten by an infected animal.

Infected dogs are the most common cause of human infection worldwide while in Western Europe most cases of rabies are from bites by infected bats.

A bat enthusiast in Scotland was the first person to die of UK-acquired rabies since 1902 after being bitten by an infected bat in 2002.

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