British died after contracting rabies while on vacation in Morocco, health professionals say. England's public health said the victim had become infected after the kitten had bitten.
PHE has issued a reminder to passengers not to come into contact with animals in countries hit by rabies.
Rabies are not found in wild or domestic animals in the UK, but five British have become infected between 2000 and 2017 after "animal exposure overseas."
Some bats in the United Kingdom can carry a virus similar to rabies.
According to the World Health Organization, the disease occurs in more than 150 countries and causes tens of thousands of deaths each year, mainly in Asia and Africa.
Speaking in 99% of cases, domestic dogs are responsible for transmitting viruses to people.
The UK government says that the North African countries such as Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia are among 139 countries where there is a high risk.
PHE has not announced further details on British deaths.
He indicated that although there was no risk for the general public, as a precautionary measure, health workers and close contacts of the person who died, it is estimated that vaccination is needed.
Rabies is a viral infection that affects the brain and the central nervous system. It passes through bites and scratches from the infected animal.
There are no documented cases that are transmitted through human contact.
Dr. Mary Ramsay, head of immunization at PHE, said: "This is an important reminder of the precautions that people need to take when traveling to countries where rabies are present."
The last recorded case of rabies in the UK was 2012, after a British resident barking a dog in South Asia.
What is rabies?
- Initial symptoms may include anxiety, headache and fever
- As the disease progresses, there may be hallucinations and respiratory failure
- Muscle spasms used for swallowing make it difficult for the patient to drink
- The incubation period between infection and symptoms is between 3 and 12 weeks
- If you are bitten, scratched or licked, you must wash the wound or place of exposure with lots of soap and water and seek medical advice without delay
- Once the symptoms develop, rabies are almost always fatal
- Before the symptoms develop, rabies can be treated by vaccination – it is "extremely effective" when given immediately after bite – with the liver of immunoglobulin if needed
- Every year, more than 15 million people around the world get vaccinated and this is estimated to prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths
- But effective rabies treatment is not easily available to those who need it
- Pre-exposure vaccination is recommended for people in certain high-risk occupations and for rabbit travelers affected by distant areas
Source: Public Health of England / World Health Organization. BBC