Philippine Sailor Died of Rabies in Finnish Hospital

A 45-year-old Philippine sailor has died of rabies in a hospital in the Finnish capital Helsinki on September 5, 2007. Source of the infection remained unclear.
“We do not know how he contracted the disease. He said he had been bitten by a dog a few months ago in the Philippines, but to our knowledge the dog is alive and well,” said Asko Jarvinen, head of Helsinki University Hospital’s infectious diseases department.
The sailor had stopped over in several countries in Asia and Europe before arriving in Finland, which had not had a case of domestic rabies for decades.
Rabies is a viral disease that infects domestic and wild animals and, once symptoms develop, is fatal to both animals and humans.It is transmitted through close contact with saliva from infected animals such as bites, scratches or licks on broken skin.
A WHO study in 2004 estimated up to 55,000 people, mostly in rural areas of Africa and Asia, die each year from rabies. Although there is no known cure, it can be prevented by vaccination.

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