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Rabies (Human) in the Americas

24 Jun 2015

The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) have issued an Epidemiologial Alert on rabies in the Americas.

Although progress has been made towards the eradication of canine rabies virus transmission to humans, some countries in the region continue to report human cases of rabies infection. Since the beginning of 2014, to date, human cases of rabies following canine exposure have been reported from: Bolivia (6 cases), Haiti (3 cases), Guatemala (2 cases), Brazil (1 case) and Dominican Republic (1 case).

Of concern, canine rabies has been identified in areas of some countries where previously rabies was not reported: Jujuy and Salta in northern Argentina, Mato Grosso do Sul in central-western Brazil and Loma Plata city in the department of BoquerĂ³n, western Paraguay.

Canine rabies was reported in the Arequipa region of south-western Peru; an area declared free of rabies more than 10 years ago.

Advice for Travellers

Rabies pre-exposure vaccination is sometimes advised for high rabies risk countries of the Americas; see individual country records for further information. Travellers are advised to avoid animal contact and report any bites sustained as soon as possible for medical assessment.