• Kyodo News


A man diagnosed with rabies Thursday in the first confirmed case in Japan since 1970 died early Friday morning at a Kyoto hospital, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said.

The Kyoto resident, who was in his 60s, was bitten on the hand by a rabid dog in late August in a rural area of the Philippines.

He was hospitalized Monday after exhibiting fear of water and wind, and other symptoms of rabies, including hallucinations, following his return from the Philippines on Nov. 1.

Human-to-human transmission of rabies is rare, but the government routinely warns people to exercise caution when traveling overseas in areas where rabies is common.

The Philippines has a high incidence of rabies and 248 people died of the illness there in 2004, ministry officials said. The World Health Organization estimates rabies claimed some 55,000 lives worldwide that year.

A Japanese man was diagnosed with the disease in 1970 after a trip to Nepal, but no cases of infection in humans have been reported in Japan since 1954, the officials said.

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