The European Commission issued a European Union-wide rabies alert regarding a case of the disease found in a dog in southwest France.
The commission reports that the dog, allegedly imported illegally into the country, had numerous contacts with people during the month of August in areas that commonly attract many foreign tourists. Officials urge anyone who might have been in contact with the animal to consult their physician immediately for appropriate treatment.
The dog is described as a four-month-old puppy with medium-length brown/apricot hair, a black muzzle, a long tail and floppy ears.
The French national health agency has identified the period Aug. 2-21 as the time during which the dog was infectious. Authorities report the animal is known to have come in contact with and possibly bitten several people and other dogs. The agency is currently searching for several specific people, including a jogger who was known to have been bitten on either Aug. 18 or 19.
One official was quoted at a press conference calling the alert one of "unprecedented seriousness."