The Health Protection Agency (HPA) yesterday confirmed a case of rabies in the UK.
The potentially fatal disease was confirmed in a patient from London who was bitten by a dog in south Asia.
The patient, whose age and gender were not given, is receiving hospital treatment and all relevant contacts have been followed up, the HPA said.
Dr Brian McCloskey, director of the HPA for London, said: "It is important to stress that there is no risk to the general public as a result of this case or to patients and visitors at the hospital where the patient is receiving treatment.
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"Despite there being tens of thousands of rabies cases each year worldwide, there have been no documented laboratory confirmed cases of human-to-human spread.
"Therefore the risk to other humans or animals from a patient with rabies is considered negligible.
"However, to take every possible precaution, family members and healthcare staff who had close contact with the patient since they became unwell – which is when they are infectious – have been assessed and offered vaccination if appropriate."
Rabies is usually transferred through saliva from the bite of an infected animal, with dogs being the most common transmitters to humans.