A rare case of rabies, a potentially fatal disease, was confirmed in the UK yesterday.

The Health Protection Agency said a patient from London had contracted the disease after they were bitten by a dog in South Asia.

The agency said the patient, whose age and gender have not been disclosed, is receiving hospital treatment for the illness that makes drinking impossible.

At least 55,000 people die from rabies every year, but it has been eradicated from animals in the UK and the agency stressed that there was no risk to the public as there is no "human-to-human spread".