In 1880, Louis Pasteur began his research on Rabies. During this time, mysterious deaths from “hydrophobia” (fear of water) were popping up all over Europe. Pasteur identified the virus by growing it in rabbits. His team was then able to remove the spinal cords of these infected rabbits and expose them to air, thus weakening the virus. Vaccines were then created using these weakened forms of the rabies virus.
If there is a risk of a possible rabies infection patients are given a series of preventive vaccines in combination with human rabies immunolglobulin the day the bite occurred.
These precautionary measures are given regardless of a confirmed diagnoses because once the symptoms appear few people survive it.
In the summer of 2004, in Wisconsin, Jeanna Giese was bitten by a rabid bat. Jeanna didn’t see a doctor and forgot about the bite until her rabies symptoms began months later. Her doctor had to choice but to act on a last minute idea and put Jeanna into a chemically induced coma for 6 days, thankfully allowing her immune system time to create antibodies and fight the virus. Jenna Giese leaves the hospital as the ONLY known unvaccinated Rabies survivor
In 2008 in the United States, of the nearly 121,000 animals/humans tested:
Even though human rabies cases are very rare in this country, prevention efforts are imperative because once the symptoms appear very few people survive the disease
Prevention Efforts It’s a wild animal’s dream come true when food drops from the sky. An Oral Rabies vaccine is concealed in flavorful morsels and scattered throughout wildlife habitats from airplanes.
Rabies in humans is 100% preventable, yet worldwide more than 55,000 people die from this disease every year. That’s equal to 1 person every 10 minutes, so by the time this class is over today an average of 9 people throughout the world will have succumbed to this disease. In 2006, the global Alliance for Rabies Control was formed to raise awareness and become part of the effort to eliminate this horrible disease.