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Thread: Rabies isn't your friend

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Dragon's avatar
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    Rabies isn't your friend

    I just read this article, and I can't believe only 3 known people have ever lived past the symptoms stage. Honestly, I never really heard of it being something that people came in contact with often.

    I wonder what will happen to the poor kid.
    “Ahh! Beer. So many choices. And it makes so little difference."
    - Bender

  2. #2
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dragon
    I wonder what will happen to the poor kid.
    I do believe he's going to die... Pretty sad.
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    This sort of thing can happen too easily when something like a bat bite is deemed "unsignificant." The public loses its awareness of diseases like rabies as they become non-common.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    I brought a rabid bat (unwittingly knowing that it was rabid) into my office after it flew into my house. Our staff biologist had me take it to animal control and then I had to go through the series of rabies shots. They are not pleasant and they make your arms absolutely dead. I can bite safely now.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Makes me wonder who deemed the exposure "unsignificant"? My husky tangled with a skunk in our enclosed back yard a couple months ago. Besides the smell, blood was everywhere, including in the house when he made it through the dog door (the dog not the skunk). We did not know all the specifics since it was about 1 am. But I got the dog into a bath and out into the crate until we could get something for the spray. Then started to clean the house. My wife also started to clean and called the vet. The vet had us call our Primary Care due to just the exposure to the blood. He told us to get started on the Rabies Vaccine ASAP - the next morning at the latest. Had our first shots, lovely side effects!

    Luckily we found the dead skunk in the back yard the next morning. Animal control sent it off for testing. Negative no more shots.

    Everyone we came into contact with has said getting the shot right away was the correct procedure even for this low level of exposure! Really can't help but wonder in this case given how prevalent bat rabies are. Poor kid!
    Planning is much like acting, as my old theater professor used to say, "If you sin, sin boldly, only you know if you are ad libbing." I follow this adage almost daily.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Happy Holiday News!

    From the Nov. 24, 2004, editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Gamble pays off for rabies patient
    Teen first to survive without vaccination

    By KAWANZA L. GRIFFIN
    kgriffin@journalsentinel.com
    Posted: Nov. 23, 2004

    Her fragile nervous system was rapidly deteriorating when Milwaukee doctors tested fate and allowed her body to develop natural immunity against the deadly rabies virus.

    John and Ann Giese thank the staff at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa for saving the life of their 15-year-old daughter, Jeanna.

    And on Tuesday, the gamble paid off as doctors declared Jeanna Giese the first person to survive rabies without prior vaccination. The 15-year-old Fond du Lac teen - who had been in grave condition and on a ventilator for a month - is now in an intermediate care unit for intensive rehabilitation.

    She's weak, can't move or talk, but most important to her parents, she's still alive.

    "I told the doctors, this is the one that's going to walk away," said John Giese, her father. "It took a while for everyone to believe us, but I think they all believe us now."

    Using an innovative approach, a team of eight specialists at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa intentionally placed Giese into a coma within an hour after her diagnosis on Oct. 19.

    The goal was to protect her brain while the virus ran its course through her body, said Rodney E. Willoughby, the pediatric infectious disease physician who headed the care team.

    Within three days, Giese was on a four-drug cocktail - two anti-virals that helped salvage her brain and two anesthetics. She was never given a rabies vaccine because it is considered ineffective once clinical symptoms develop.

    She won the race
    "It was an informed gamble," Willoughby said. "We had an idea of what we wanted to do, but no one had done this in an animal model, so, yes, we jumped out of thin air."

    Prior to Giese, there were only five documented cases of survival once clinical symptoms from rabies appeared, but each person had been immunized against the virus after being bitten, said Charles E. Rupprecht, current chief of the rabies unit at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

    Rupprecht, who was at the news conference on Tuesday, called the announcement "a very historic occasion."

    "Basically, we had a race, and Jeanna won," he said.

    "This is pretty astounding," said Thomas Bleck, a professor of neurology and a director of the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit at the University of Virginia.

    "There's nothing about induction (of coma) that's new," he said. "But the risk here was that the treatment might not have worked."

    Rabies is a potentially fatal viral disease that is usually transmitted through a bite from an infected animal.

    Early symptoms in humans include fever, headache and general malaise, but as the disease progresses, neurological symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, hallucinations and difficulty swallowing. Death usually occurs within days of the onset of symptoms.

    Giese reported being bitten by a bat at church Sept. 12 after picking it up by its wings, and indicated that the wound had been thoroughly washed after the incident. She did not receive medical treatment after the bite.

    She was admitted to Children's Hospital on Oct. 18 with periods of unconsciousness, double vision, slurred speech, and weakness in her left arm, which was also jerking, Willoughby said.

    "After the worrisome exam, I knew there was not much to offer," he said.

    Miraculous recovery
    But friends and family of Giese thought differently.

    John Giese told doctors to do whatever they could to save his daughter. He and wife, Ann, called upon a greater force to help save Jeanna.

    "The day after we found out, I called on everyone we knew for prayer," John Giese said. "We believe a lot of that snowballed and that it really made a difference.

    "Miracles can happen," he said. "We really believe it - and it did."

    When classmates at St. Mary's Springs High School in Fond du Lac learned of Giese's condition, they began doing whatever they could to help.

    Some sent letters, others made ribbons and posters, and many offered their prayers.

    They have also posted angels on lockers that carry a single word - believe.

    Ann Giese has read every card to her daughter and says she continues to talk to her.

    While Giese was still in a coma, Ann read aloud one card from a mother who had lost her child. Giese's face turned red and her heart rate jumped, said her father.

    "We believed she could hear us," he said.

    Though doctors remain cautiously optimistic about Giese's progress, the battle is far from over.

    "She has to do her exercises and see how far she can go," Willoughby said. "She had a major attack on her brain and every peripheral nerve in her body. She's not out of danger until she's home."

    No one knows how long it will take Giese to fully recover, nor if there will be any long-term effects from the illness.

    But the novelty of what happened has the CDC rethinking the treatment protocol for rabies, Rupprecht said.

    "This is encouraging, but we obviously need to know more details about exactly how the patient was treated," said Alan C. Jackson, a rabies expert and a professor in medicine at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

    "This isn't necessarily the combination that will allow all patients to survive who have rabies," he said. "But it does give optimism that a patient with rabies can live even if they did not receive a rabies vaccine prior to onset of the disease."

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Dragon's avatar
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    This is good news. I hope that she makes a speedy, full recovery. Then it will be great news.
    “Ahh! Beer. So many choices. And it makes so little difference."
    - Bender

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    I told you those bats are bad...
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  9. #9
    Miracles do still happen. Just not always with lightning and thunder. Sometimes just with love and prayers. Best wishes to the family and the child. btw slight exposure is dangerous, even as little as saliva from an infected carrier. Be careful feeding wild creatures.

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