- Hello Jeff - There have been only three documented cases
of people surviving rabies after symptoms began.
- In October, we learned about a case of a teen who was
bitten by a rabid bat in Wisconsin in September, and admitted to hospital
Oct. 18, 2004 with symptoms of rabies.
- There has been virtually NO information about the teen
and initial reports were misleading indicating the teen was a young boy.
- Information is now beginning to emerge that indicates
the teen, a young girl, is improving. This is amazing. Rabies is known
to be fatal once symptoms begin.
- Let us all continue to pray for this young girl and hope
that she will be able to survive and live a normal life. A miracle is
happening in Wisconsin and pray it will continue.
- From ProMED-mail
- Rabies Victim Improving But Long-Term Effect
- By Meg Jones
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
- While a 15-year-old Fond du Lac girl infected with rabies
is showing signs of improvement, doctors on Monday [8 Nov 2004] stressed
that she's far from recovered. The girl was in grave condition last month
[October 2004] at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa but recently
has recognized her family, responded to commands to move her toes, and
is intermittently alert. But, she remains on a respirator in intensive
- "Although preliminary indications are that [her]
condition will continue to improve, this is new territory," Rodney
E. Willoughby, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Children's Hospital,
said in a statement. "We are now in a wait-and-see mode. It will be
quite some time before we know what [her] long-term prognosis will be,"
- The girl, a student at St. Mary's Springs High School,
was bitten by a bat on 12 Sep 2004, during a church service in Fond du
Lac, but didn't seek immediate treatment. Rabies can be prevented with
a vaccine before symptoms appear. But, it was too late for the girl, who
was admitted to the hospital on 18 Oct 2004. Only 3 people in the world
are known to have survived after the onset of rabies symptoms. Nearly all
die within weeks of developing symptoms.
- The last 2 cases of rabies in Wisconsin -- in 2000 and
1959 -- were acquired from bat bites. Rabies is a virus that infects the
brain and peripheral nerves, causing severe brain disease and paralysis.
- [It is generally considered that, once symptoms develop,
rabies virus infection in humans is invariably fatal. Nonetheless, there
are rare published accounts of partial and near-full recovery of children
and adults: the most recent being "Madhusudana, S.N. et al. 2002.
Partial recovery from rabies in a six-year-old girl. Int J Infect Dis.
6(1):85-6." We hope that the Wisconsin patient will join this rare
band of survivors. - Mod.CP]
- see also:
- Rabies, human, bat - USA (WI) 20041021.2853
- Rabies, bats - USA (multistate): alert 20040906.2491