Rabies case in Idaho is first human case

Image copyright AP Image caption The person was exposed to rabies in November 2017

An animal in southern Idaho has tested positive for rabies after the likely first case of human infection in state history.

Rabies is a highly contagious blood disease that affects animals and humans.

The recent exposure occurred in November 2017, when a mountain lion escaped from a veterinary clinic and attacked a man.

The 77-year-old Idaho man recently died.

A “rapid screening” test, a stronger form of the classic test, confirmed that the man had rabies, said the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in a statement.

It is likely that the mountain lion first came into contact with the infected animal while still a wild animal, Idaho reported.

The 80-year-old veterinary assistant who shot the animal when it attacked the man is in isolation.

In many states, animal rabies is still considered rare.

The International Association of Cat Owners reports that throughout the world, it is considered highly uncommon for rabid animals to be left in the wild, and that only a handful of humans have contracted the disease from wild animals.

Although most people become infected by touching an infected animal or another animal, it can also be transmitted from person to person through saliva or urine – however, such transmission is extremely rare.

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