Mar 29, 2023
New Zealand Detects First Case of Rabies in Traveler Who Died
(Bloomberg) -- New Zealand health authorities said an overseas visitor died from rabies, the first time ever the disease has been detected in the nation.
The person, who died last week in Auckland City Hospital, contracted the illness overseas and was diagnosed and treated in New Zealand, the Ministry of Health said in a statement Thursday. Person-to-person transmission of rabies is so rare it’s almost unknown, so there is no risk to members of the public, it said.
Rabies spreads to people via saliva of an infected animal — usually a domestic dog — through a bite, and the typical incubation period is two-to-three months. If not treated immediately, the virus affects a person’s central nervous system and is virtually 100% fatal once clinical symptoms appear, according to the World Health Organization.
New Zealand imposes strict biosecurity measures on animals entering the country and is one of a small number of places around the world to remain free from rabies. The case doesn’t change the nation’s rabies-free status, the health ministry said.
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