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US had 5 rabies deaths last year, highest total in a decade

Rabies Deaths
Posted at 8:31 AM, Jan 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-07 08:47:34-05

NEW YORK — Health officials say five Americans died of rabies last year — the largest number in a decade.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday released a report focusing on three of the deaths, all stemming from contact with rabid bats.

CDC officials said the deaths were tragic and could have been prevented.

They say some of the deaths occurred because people didn’t realize they’d been infected or refused life-saving shots.

Those shots must be given within two weeks of exposure to the virus.

There were no rabies deaths reported in 2019 or 2020.