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Rabies victim loses her fight for life

A WOMAN in her thirties from Northern Ireland who contracted rabies has died, it has been confirmed.

Lisa McMurray passed away on Tuesday evening at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast where she was being treated after being diagnosed with the disease last month. Reports suggest that Ms McMurray had visited an area somewhere abroad associated with rabies a number of times where she may have been bitten by an infected dog. The victim’s family have released a statement in which they express their devastation over the loss.

‘We are extremely proud not only of all she achieved in life but also of the bravery with which she fought her illness. Her courage was inspiring and typical of the passionate and determined way in which she led her life.

‘Her loss will leave a huge hole in all our lives and her family and friends will miss her terribly,’ the family added.

The rabies virus can be contracted in a number of ways - dog bites being the most common - but humans can also be infected through bites from other warm-blooded animals such as cats, bats and monkeys. Even licks and scratches from infected animals can transmit the illness. On average 55,000 humans worldwide die from the disease each year.

Rabies is very rare in Western countries, however, with the last recorded case of the disease in Northern Ireland being in 1938.

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