Rabies kills 73-year old woman

July 20, 2011 6:41:08 PM PDT
State health officials say a 73-year-old woman who contracted rabies from a dog bite in her native Haiti has died in a North Jersey hospital.

The state Health Department said the woman showed symptoms on June 25 while visiting family in Union County. She had been hospitalized at Overlook Medical Center in Summit since July 2 but may have been infectious as of June 11.

Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Tina Tan says the risk of infection to health care workers and others who may have been in contact with the woman is "extremely low."

Rabies deaths are rare. In 1997, a Warren County man died after removing several bats from his home. Before that, the most recent human case in New Jersey was in 1971.