Science and Medicine are changing. Human race has again claimed victory against the deadly viral disease rabies, which claims about 55,000 lives worldwide.
An 8-year-old girl became the third person in the US to have recovered from rabies infection that is most commonly acquired from the saliva of infected warm-blooded animals like dogs and cats.
Not receiving post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), how Precious Reynolds of Humboldt County, California acquired the highly infectious disease is not clear but public health officials suspect that she may have been exposed to an infected wild cat near her school in Willow Creek. The responsible animal was never recovered, according to UC Davis Website.
She initially complained of abdominal pain that later progressed to neurologic signs with inability to swallow, neck and back pains, loss of muscle control and inability to walk.
The girl was admitted to a hospital where appendicitis and influenza were ruled out. With the progression of brain involvement and her overall health decline, she was referred to UC Davis Children's Hospital as a pediatric emergency.
Entertaining rabies, Reynolds' team of physicians and nurses followed the Milwaukeeprotocol by medically-inducing a state of coma while administering anti-viral drugs.
At least two survivors out of 25 patients were reported adhering to the first version of the protocol, whereas two survivors out of ten patients using the revised protocol survived,Wikipedia said.
The attached YouTube video shows the first person to have survived the disease in 2004 without PEP. She has already graduated in college this year.
In 2008, a 15-year-old Brazilian boy survived rabies without PEP also adhering to the protocol, Fox News said.
As of 2006, Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease reported that only four countries have successfully eradicated rabies—Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the UK.
Between 1995 and 2004, the ten countries that had the highest number of human deaths due to rabies were: India (244,478), Bangladesh (22,900), China (13,995), Philippines (5,658), Viet Nam (5,183), Pakistan (2,843), Sri Lanka (2,042), Myanmar (1,683), Thailand (1,377) and Indonesia (1,208), according to WHO.
In a separate report, I described how the virus is spread from animals to humans.
This is an exciting moment in Science and Medicine. Rabies, once known to be 100 percent fatal, has now eight percent chances of survival, scientists say. Slim chance but in time, it will likely go higher.
Details of this report here.