RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Department of Health is investigating a confirmed case of human rabies discovered in a Virginia resident who was bitten by a dog while traveling in India.
Human rabies cases in the United States are rare, with only one to three cases reported annually. The last time the Virginia Department of Health reported a human rabies case was in 2009. That patient had also been bitten by a dog in India.
Human-to-human rabies transmission cases are very rare and the only documented cases have occurred via organ transplantation. However, the Virginia Department of Health is acting out of an abundance of caution and assessing anyone who had direct contact with the patient to see if there is any concern they may have been exposed.
The Virginia Department of Health is also working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and healthcare centers where the patient sought care to assess any healthcare worker who may have been exposed to the virus during contact with the patient.
The patient resides in the central region of Virginia. No additional information is being released about the individual in order to protect their privacy.