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Hospital patient tested for rabies

Published 24/04/2015

A patient at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast is being tested for suspected rabies
A patient at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast is being tested for suspected rabies

A patient in a Northern Ireland hospital is being tested for suspected rabies.

The Public Health Agency (PHA) confirmed the person had recently travelled in an area affected by the disease.

They are being assessed in accordance with the "national risk assessment protocol", the PHA added.

A PHA spokeswoman said: "The patient is currently being treated in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, and is being tested for a number of diseases including rabies."

She said there was no increased risk to the wider community.

Rabies is a deadly viral infection of the central nervous system.

Transmission is generally through the bite of an infected animal, usually dogs, but also cats, bats and other wildlife.

The PHA stressed that a course of rabies vaccination could prevent infection.

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