Rabies diagnosed in Toronto man

CBC news / Rabies diagnosed in Toronto man

CBC news health / Rabies diagnosed in Toronto man: April 17, 2012

A Toronto man is being treated for the first case of rabies in a human in the city in more than 80 years, CBC News has learned.

The 41-year-old man had been working as a bartender in the Dominican Republic for four months.

He had already reported symptoms at the end of last month in the Dominican Republic where he was seen three times at a resort clinic.His condition worsened to the point that he was having trouble swallowing and was afraid of food, water and even the air.

He returned to Toronto a week ago by airplane. He was taken to hospital by police after behaving erratically at the airport.

His symptoms worsened by April 11, and on April 12, samples were sent for testing. It was then determined he had rabies, a virus that attacks the brain and nervous system.

Dr. Donald Low, the medical director of the public health laboratories at the arms-length government agency Public Health Ontario, said rabies in humans is rare.

The infected Toronto man is being treated in the neurological intensive care unit at Toronto Western Hospital.

Humans can be vaccinated against rabies before exposure to the virus. They are also vaccinated after contact, although immunization is recommended as soon as possible after exposure.

Source: CBC news / Rabies diagnosed in Toronto man

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