A gentleman, from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, contracted the disease after being bitten by cat in Morocco.

The victim attended Stoke Mandeville Hospital before being “transferred to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford as the regional referral centre for infectious diseases”.

Five Britons became infected from rabies between 2000 and 2017 after “animal exposures abroad”.

According to the World Health Organization, the disease occurs in more than 150 countries and causes tens of thousands of deaths every year, mainly in Asia and Africa.

In up to 99% of cases, domestic dogs are responsible for the transmission of the virus to humans.

Public Health England (PHE) reminded travellers to avoid touching animals in rabies-affected countries.

Pre-exposure vaccinations are available for rabies. Pre-exposure immunisation is recommended for people in certain high-risk occupations and for travellers to rabies-affected, remote areas.

If bitten, scratched or licked by an animal wash the wound or site of exposure with plenty of soap and water and seek medical advice without delay

In all cases if bitten the incident should be reported to local healthcare providers. Follow up treatment is required in all cases but varies whether or not the rabies vaccine has been administered before exposure. Risks are increased significantly if no pre-exposure vaccinations have been given.

Effective treatment for rabies is not always readily available to those in need especially if in remote areas.

Once symptoms have developed, rabies is almost always fatal. The incubation period between being infected and showing symptoms is between three and 12 weeks

Initial symptoms can include anxiety, headaches and fever

As the disease progresses, there may be hallucinations and respiratory failure

Spasms of the muscles used for swallowing make it difficult for the patient to drink.