Toyohashi, Aichi Pref. – The local government in the city of Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, has announced that a person who traveled from the Philippines had developed rabies — the first case in Japan in 14 years.
The municipal government said Friday that the patient, whose sex, age and nationality were not disclosed, is believed to have contracted the deadly rabies virus in the Southeast Asian country after being bitten by a dog on the left ankle last September. Before coming to Japan for work in February, the person did not visit a doctor.
After starting to present symptoms of the virus on May 11, including pains in the ankle and other parts of the body, vomiting and hydrophobia, the resident of the city of Shizuoka was hospitalized in Toyohashi on Monday. The infection was confirmed on Friday in a genetic analysis by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases. The patient has been in a serious condition.
Humans contract the rabies virus from dogs and other animals, and it is not usually transmitted between humans.
No one has been infected with the virus in Japan since the 1950s. But in 2006, two men from Yokohama and Kyoto, respectively, developed rabies and died in the country after contracting the virus in the Philippines.