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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
February 18, 2004

Human Death Associated with Bat Rabies—California, 2003

JAMA. 2004;291(7):816-817. doi:10.1001/jama.291.7.816

MMWR. 2004;53:33-35

Rabies is a rapidly progressive, incurable viral encephalitis that is, with rare exception, transmitted by the bite of an infected mammal. On September 14, 2003, a previously healthy man aged 66 years who resided in Trinity County, California, died from rabies approximately 6 weeks after being bitten by a bat. This report summarizes the investigation by the Trinity and Shasta County Health Departments and the California Department of Health Services (CDHS). Persons should avoid direct contact with bats; however, if such contact occurs, the exposed person should visit a health-care provider immediately, and the exposure should be reported to local public health officials.

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