Rabies - Bulletin - Europe

Rabies Information System of the WHO

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Suspect human rabies case in France

Suspect human rabies case in France: child got infected in Sri Lanka

According to media reports rabies was diagnosed in a ten year old child in France some days ago.

The public health authorities of the department Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in Lyon stated last Tuesday that
the boy was bitten by a dog in Sri Lanka in August this year while on vacation with his parents
and is fighting for his life.

Bats are the ancestral reservoir of lyssaviruses including RABV and a remarkable diversity of species perpetuate distinct lyssavirus lineages across the world (see Classification). Unfortunately, much less is known regarding transmission of lyssaviruses in bat reservoirs (see Bats and Conservation). Sympatric bat species may contribute to lyssavirus circulation within one or more reservoir hosts.

Bats are fascinating highly specialised animals. They are the only mammals capable of true flight. With more than 1,200 bat species throughout the world, they count for a quarter of all mammal species. Bats are often considered “keystone species” because they are essential for ecosystems across the world. For example, the majority of bats are insectivorous species and feed exclusively on night-flying insects, including many agricultural pests. Therefore, as main predators of night-flying insects, bats play a significant role in controlling insect populations.

Classical rabies caused by RABV occurs worldwide besides some isolated countries and Western Europe that are regarded rabies free. Carnivores, especially of the canidae family represent the principal reservoir species and are responsible for the maintenance of the infectious cycle and hence for the presence of the disease (see Epidemiology of rabies).

European Union aims at eliminating rabies from the EU by 2020

The EU aims to eradicate wildlife rabies in the EU by 2020. It co-financed fox vaccination programmes for many years to eliminate the risk that foxes spread rabies to humans and domestic animals. These vaccination programmes have been very successful. Whilst fox rabies was common in many EU countries only 10-15 years ago, it was detected in only three EU countries in 2016.

Link: http://ec.europa.eu/food/audits-analysis/news_detail.cfm?id=86


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