It is an announcement that worries more than one. In 2019, a man died of rabies after being bitten or scratched by a bat. How can this extremely rare disease happen in mainland France? Explanations in the rest of the article.
Is rabies back in France?
It’s a shock announcement revealed by the newspaper The People of the Center. In 2019 in Limoges in France, a sexagenarian died of rabies after having been in contact with a bat present in his attic. Transmitted by saliva from animals or by scratching, rabies infects the functioning of the nervous system. The man died of inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), the origin of which was, at the time, unexplained.
As a reminder, rabies is a disease “Fatal once the first signs of the disease are declared”, precise the Pasteur Institute. Fortunately, it can be prevented by vaccination. On this same site, it is announced that“No case of human rabies acquired in mainland France has been reported since 1924”. In addition, rabies was officially eradicated from France in 2001, indicates 20 minutes.
An astonishing discovery
Since then, research carried out by the National Reference Center for Rabies has revealed “The trace of this virus […], in November 2020. In the midst of the coronavirus, and this discovery went unnoticed ”, reveals Laurent Dacheux at 20 Minutes, deputy head of the National Reference Center for Rabies at the Institut Pasteur.
According to Claire Genet-Villéger, head of the Limoges rabies center: “Incubation can take anywhere from one to three months, so it’s easy to forget or not realize it. The virus enters through the muscles, progresses through the nerve pathways, reaches the spinal cord and then the brain. It’s quite slow and it can take a long time. “ The only instruction to follow: do not touch the bats or their bodies!