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France declare loss of rabies free status 27 May 2008

Further to a recent Public Health message that a case of confirmed rabies in a dog had been identified in France, the French Authorities have declared the loss of the countries rabies free status. This may have implications for Manx travellers.

French officials have confirmed that there is a low but increased risk of rabies in three previously identified areas of France:

• Gers (Auch city and surroundings)

• Seinne-et-marne (environs of Grandpuits)

• Calvados (Lisieux city and Thury Harcourt village and their surroundings).

Elsewhere the risk of rabies is considered to be extremely small, but cannot be completely ruled out.

Advice to members of the public

- Anyone who has sustained a dog bite in any of these areas, needs to seek URGENT medical attention.

- Although the risk of human infection is low, rabies is a condition where once the symptoms have started the mortality is near 100%

- to be effective the treatment has to be provided BEFORE the symptoms have started.

- If anyone who has visited France is concerned they are advised to contact Public Health on 642688.

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