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Rabies victim dies in UK

LONDON, England -- A man who contracted rabies after being bitten by a dog in the Philippines has died in a London hospital.

Hilario Laya, who was born in the Philippines but had lived in Britain for several years, became ill after a trip to visit his family.

A spokeswoman for University College Hospital, London, said Laya died on Monday night.

The last indigenous case of rabies infection in the UK occurred in 1902.

Laya was admitted to the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in London on April 30 and was moved into isolation.

He was given the rabies vaccine to boost his immune response to the virus within an hour of being admitted and was then sedated.

Relatives and members of hospital staff treating the patient were immunised, although the risk of transmission to humans is tiny.

Other than the vaccine, there is no other treatment for the disease which is often fatal.

A spokesman for the Public Health Laboratory Service said: "Rabies affects the central nervous system and the brain.

"It is usually fatal. Those who do survive often survive with disabilities.

"The symptoms are anxiety, a headache and a fever, followed by a spasm of the swallowing muscles leading to ultimate paralysis."

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Public Health Laboratory Service
UK Rabies Quarantine Policy

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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