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Authorities in France have reported that a dog has been diagnosed and confirmed with rabies

A dog in France has been diagnosed with rabies. The dog lived in the town of Le Chambon Feugerolles, in the Rhône-Alpes region of France. On 16th May, it became aggressive, biting several people and another dog, and was taken by its owners to a veterinarian who placed it in quarantine. The dog died the next day.

Investigations have determined that the dog, a seven-month-old white bull terrier, had been illegally taken to Algeria for three weeks, and developed rabies after returning to France. The rabies virus was shown to be type Africa 1, confirming Algeria as the source of its infection.

Public health officials are currently in the process of identifying and risk assessing all those who may have had contact with the dog between 7th and 16th May, and also to determine if any other animals were in contact or are affected.

Anyone who has been bitten, licked or scratched by a dog in this area of France since 7th May this year is urged to seek medical advice.

Dr Kevin Brown, Deputy Director of the Virus Reference Department for PHE said: “Those travelling to this area of France should avoid contact with wild and domestic animals. If they are licked, scratched or bitten by a wild or domestic animal they should wash the area thoroughly with soap and water and seek urgent medical advice either in France, or on their return from their GP or NHS 111.”

The current Public Health England rabies risk assessment for France is:

  • Le Chambon Feugerolles, Loire, Rhone-Alpes – low risk
  • rest of France – no risk                                                                                                                                                           

For more information see health protection advice on rabies.

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