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Rabies woman treated at London hospital after dog bite has died

Tuesday, May 29, 2012
7:31 AM

A woman who was being treated in a London hospital for rabies after being bitten by a dog in Asia has died.

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The woman, believed to be a grandmother in her 50s, was reportedly turned away twice by doctors at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Kent, before she was finally diagnosed

She was being treated at London’s Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

In a statement, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We regret to announce that a patient being treated for rabies by the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and colleagues at University College Hospital died over the weekend.”

Rabies is usually transferred through saliva from the bite of an infected animal, with dogs being the most common transmitter of rabies to humans.

More than 55,000 people are estimated to die from the disease every year, with most cases occurring in developing countries, particularly south and south-east Asia.

An investigation was launched into how the woman was reportedly turned away from the hospital emergency department.

A spokesman for Darent Valley Hospital last week said: “The UK is rabies-free. If a patient does present at hospital with vague symptoms, a doctor is unlikely to consider rabies as a diagnosis unless the patient highlights wild animal contact in an at-risk country.”

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