A woman is in a critical condition in a Belfast hospital suffering from rabies.

She apparently contracted the deadly infection several months ago while she was overseas in an area associated with rabies in animals.

However, she only became ill recently.

The woman is said to be in a critical condition in the Royal Victoria Hospital and is being nursed in isolation.

The Northern Ireland health authority says the patient poses no risk to other patients or visitors to the hospital and strict infection controls are in place.

Cases of rabies are extremely rare, the last human case in Northern Ireland was in 1938.