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Rabies (Human) in China

07 Feb 2013

Rabies is an ongoing problem in the city of Beijing. There have been two human deaths from rabies virus infection in January 2013. Both individuals had been bitten on the finger; one by a stray dog and the other from a pet dog. Neither of the individuals received post-exposure prophylaxis.

In Beijing, most human rabies cases occur among adult males who are either farmers or migrant workers; 50% of cases are bitten by stray dogs and most do not recieve post-exposure prophylaxis.

Advice for Travellers

Visitors to Beijing City should be aware that rabies infection is still prevalent in the canine population despite stringent controls. All contact with animals should be avoided and any bites sustained must be assessed carefully immediately. Pre-exposure rabies vaccine may be considered for travellers to China.