Rabies in the UK

Rabies is a rare but very serious infection of the brain and nerves. It's usually caught from the bite or scratch of an infected animal, most often a dog. Rabies is found throughout the world, particularly in Asia, Africa and Central and South America. It's not found in the UK except in a small number of wild bats. Rabies was eradicated from all UK animals except bats in 1922. It's almost always fatal once symptoms appear, but treatment before this happens is very effective. There's also a vaccine for people at risk of being infected.

Signs of rabies include in animals include behaviourally changes, hypersensitivity, increased aggression, excessive saliva, itching and paralysis.

Some animals will show no signs at all, so laboratory tests are required to confirm rabies.

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