France Reports Second, Separate Rabies Case

France officially reported its second case of canine rabies in 2008.

France has reported its second canine rabies case of 2008.

France yesterday reported its second canine rabies case of 2008, again attributing it to the illegal movement of animals into France from other countries.

A female dog that was born in December 2007 in Gambia traveled from Gambia to Belgium on April 7, then was transported to France a week later.

Despite a rabies vaccination on March 15 and a certificate of good health signed on April 5, the dog was in poor condition when she arrived in France, according to the French Ministry of Agriculture. 

She was examined by three veterinary clinics, with the third clinic suspecting rabies due to nervous  system signs.

The dog died—she was not euthanized–on April 21. Laboratory examination  confirmed rabies.

The only other animal known to have had contact with the dog was the dog owner’s 18-year-old cat. The cat was not  vaccinated against rabies, did not have contact with other animals and was scheduled to be euthanized today.

France reported that this case in not epidemiologically linked to the case of canine rabies it reported in February. 

Rabies is a reportable disease, meaning countries must report any outbreaks to other countries.

The strain identified in the current case was similar to  cases in Guinea and Sierra Leone, suggesting a Gambian origin of the strain, French authorities reported.

One of the Senate amendments of the pending U.S. Farm Bill currently being considered by a conference committee is a measure that would ban the import of puppies until they are at least 6 months  old , have  received  required vaccinations and are in good health.

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