A field worker from Mexico died in Louisiana this weekend from rabies. This is the first case of human rabies in Louisiana in over 60 years, but based on the time the man had been in the country and the incubation period of rabies, it is believed that he was infected in Mexico. Human-to-human transmission of rabies is rare, but healthcare workers and other people he had recent contact with are being evaluated to determine if post-exposure treatment is required.  In the case of the man’s co-workers, they could have also been exposed to the same source of rabies that infected him.

The original source of infection isn’t known, or at least has not been reported. Wildlife are the main source of rabies exposure for people in the US, but dogs are the most common source of human infection internationally. Dog-associated rabies cases in people from Mexico have been previously reported in the US, and it’s certainly possible here.

(click image for source)