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French hedgehog put into quarantine because of rabies fears

Henri the hedgehog sniffs out his new surroundings Credit: West Sussex County Council

A French hedgehog has been put into quarantine in case he has rabies. Henri sneaked his way into the UK from France and was discovered at Newhaven ferry port. He was taken to a pet sanctuary in West Sussex and given a container of food to tuck into.

Henri was then collected by officers from West Sussex Trading Standards, whose role includes disease control and prevention. He was taken to the Animal Reception Centre at Gatwick Airport where he’ll now be in quarantine for around four months.

“We acted quickly when a vet telephoned us, concerned there could be a risk of rabies,” said Lionel Barnard, County Council Cabinet Member who oversees Trading Standards.

“The risk was low, but we decided it would be better to take no chances and put this little creature in quarantine. The most important thing is to protect the community.”

Dog bite woman dies of rabies

A woman being treated for rabies after being bitten by a dog has died. The woman, believed to be in her 50s, was reportedly turned away twice by doctors at Darent Valley Hospital in Kent, before she was finally diagnosed. She was being treated in London after being bitten in South East Asia.

"We regret to announce that a patient being treated for rabies by the Hospitalfor Tropical Diseases and colleagues at University College Hospital died overthe weekend. We will not be releasing any further details, nor will the family be making any statements. Our sincere condolences go out to them."

– Statement from University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Rabies is usually transferred through saliva from the bite of an infected

animal, with dogs being the most common transmitter of rabies to humans.

More than 55,000 people are estimated to die from the disease every year, withmost cases occurring in developing countries, particularly South and South-EastAsia.The hospital previously reassured patients, visitors and staff there was norisk to them as a result of the case.


Hospital issues statement in rabies case

Darent Valley Hospital has issued this statement after reports one its patients had rabies Credit: ITV Meridian

Darent Valley Hospital has issued this statement after reports it failed at first to diagnose one its patients had rabies:

"The UK is rabies free. If a patient does present at hospital with vague symptoms a doctor is unlikely to consider rabies as a diagnosis unless the patient highlights wild animal contact in an at risk country. The hospital responded to the information supplied by the patient at the time.

"Although there are no cases of rabies being passed through human-to-human contact, the five members of staff that came into close contact with the patient are being vaccinated as a precautionary measure.

"We have launched an investigation into the circumstances around this lady’s attendance at the emergency department and we are working closely with the Health Protection Agency."