Rescued Dog from Egypt Tests Positive for Rabies

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One dog brought to Johnson County from Egypt was euthanized after testing positive for rabies, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment press release (KDHE).

The dog was part of a group of 26 dogs that were imported from Egypt at the end of January 2019 by Unleashed Pet Rescue in Mission, Kansas, according to the release.

“To our knowledge at this time, none of the other 25 dogs have developed signs of rabies,” the release states.

All of the dogs from Egypt returned to Unleashed for an additional quarantine to the one imposed before being adopted or placed into foster care, according to KDHE.

In the news release, the Department of Health said that all the dogs in the group had health certificates and documentation of receiving the rabies vaccine in Egypt.

“The rabies infection in one of the dogs raises the uncertainty about the validity of the rabies vaccination and how these dogs were quarantined prior to arrival into the United States,” the release states. 

People or animals can become infected with the rabies virus from a bite by a rabid animal or when saliva from the rabid animal comes into contact with the eyes, inside the mouth, or an open wound.

KDHE and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS) are requiring that all these dogs be brought back to the shelter for evaluation and quarantine for the safety of the families, people and animals in the community, and the remaining dogs, the release states.

“All persons that have been in contact with the rabid dog have been notified, assessed for rabies exposure and if determined to be necessary, are receiving rabies post-exposure prophylaxis,” KDHE said.

“We are devastated not only that this happened, but also for the loss of Kim, who we loved immensely,” Unleashed Pet Rescue posted on Facebook.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rabies from imported dogs is rare.

There have been four cases reported since 2007, CDC states. 

The last two were connected with a shipment of dogs from Cairo, Egypt in 2015 and again in 2017, according to CDC.

In 2007, the United States successfully eliminated the canine rabies virus variant, CDC reported.

However, globally, dogs remain the Number 1 source of human rabies infections, according to the World Health Organization website.

For more key facts and information about how to prevent rabies, click here.

For more information from the CDC regarding rabies, click here.

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