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#226201 - 06/20/11 02:40 AM The Beginning of the End for Rabies.
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Until recently if you had rabies, and it advanced to where you had definite symptoms it was almost always fatal. By the time they could be sure what you had it was too late to do anything but keep the patient as comfortable as possible, and watch them die.

Now there is a treatment protocol that seems to work. There was an earlier case where they saved a girl in the late stages of rabies. But I always figure the first case may be a fluke. Now they have pulled a second one out of the fire, and it looks like they are on a roll.

http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2011/06/another_rabies_survivor.php

Medical science marches on and we learn more every day. I'm looking forward to the day when treating rabies is a well established protocol. A day when a person showing symptoms can be given good odds of a cure instead of a death sentence.

Until we have better treatments, or a vaccine for humans, this is good news.

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#226203 - 06/20/11 02:54 AM Re: The Beginning of the End for Rabies. [Re: Art_in_FL]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1390
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Art:

I read this earlier on another website, however the link you provided has much more info. Thanks!
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#226206 - 06/20/11 04:52 AM Re: The Beginning of the End for Rabies. [Re: Art_in_FL]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2186
Loc: Bluegrass
As nice as that would be, 2 confirmed survivors out of the entire history of humanity isn't exactly good odds.

I'll reserve judgment until the odds improve.

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#226207 - 06/20/11 05:57 AM Re: The Beginning of the End for Rabies. [Re: Art_in_FL]
Paul810 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: Art_in_FL

or a vaccine for humans,


There is a human pre-exposure vaccine for rabies. However, it's only typically given to people who are at a higher risk for rabies exposure (such as veterinarians and animal handlers).

Rabies is one of those unfortunate diseases that could basically be wiped off the face of the earth if the funding and man-power existed to do it. Unfortunately, people are still dying horrible deaths from it. Especially in poorer populations where, many times, they might have been saved if they had ready access to the proper medical care and knew when to seek it.

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#226208 - 06/20/11 11:01 AM Re: The Beginning of the End for Rabies. [Re: Art_in_FL]
UncleGoo Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 370
Loc: CT
A save in 2004 and another this year? I'll get the shots, thanks.
_________________________
Improvise,
Utilize,
Realize.

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#226211 - 06/20/11 12:37 PM Re: The Beginning of the End for Rabies. [Re: UncleGoo]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1390
Loc: Cranbrook BC (Finally)
Originally Posted By: UncleGoo
A save in 2004 and another this year? I'll get the shots, thanks.


I did not read anything in the links that suggested that this course of treatment is a ready replacement for the traditional series of Rabies shots, however it is always interesting to read about possible advancements in medicine and technology.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#226214 - 06/20/11 02:21 PM Re: The Beginning of the End for Rabies. [Re: Art_in_FL]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
I have read that worldwide, this protocol has been tried 25 times and the little girl, Precious, is the fifth person to survive. Well, 20% is better than the usual 0-10% survival without treatment, but also at an incredible expense. Two weeks in the PICU in not cheap. And although Precious seems to be fine, I wonder if there was permanent neurological damage to any of the other four survivors.

Reminds me of our recent pandemic H1N1 experience. Although there was some success with doctors trying some novel approaches out of desperation, like ECMO, these are approaches that were incredibly expensive and would only have been available to a small percentage of patients if H1N1 had really taken off and sickened a lot of people.

This topic also reminds me of dweste's thread we had on science a little while ago. This is an example of how medical science gets advanced in many cases. The doctors are desperate, they have a hunch about something that might work, and they try it. This approach wasn't approved by the FDA first. There were no clinical trials done. Eventually, doctors will decide whether they "think" it works, and if so, it will become the new standard. Maybe after the fact, someone will do the research to figure out exactly how it works or to confirm that it really is better than other treatments. I'm not saying this is right or wrong, but just pointing out that the process really isn't as "scientific" as people imagine in many cases.

Hmmm, I'm curious if Precious has health insurance? And even if she did, I imagine this protocol is still considered "experimental" and therefore not covered by insurance. "Glad you're feeling well, Precious! By the way, when you see your parents, please give them this bill for $750,000, OK?"

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#226233 - 06/20/11 09:00 PM Re: The Beginning of the End for Rabies. [Re: Paul810]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Quote:
Rabies is one of those unfortunate diseases that could basically be wiped off the face of the earth if the funding and man-power existed to do it.


Rabies is in the wildlife in many parts of the world. Every mammal can carry it. It's not going away any time soon. Bats and skunks get most of the rap, but it certainly isn't confined to them.

I used to work for a veterinarian in SoCal who was working in the Yuba City, CA area when they had a massive outbreak of it. It was in the dogs, cats, horses, rodents, everything.

Until a way is found to vaccinate every animal, I would say it's going to continue.

Rabies-free countries

Cut down the odds and make sure ALL your pets are vaccinated against it (not just the outdoor ones). If your pet bites someone and it was never vaccinated against rabies, SOP is usually to euthanize the animal immediately and check its brain. If the pet was ever vaccinated, it is usually just quarantined. He was your favorite dog? Too bad.

And teach your kids not to grab every nearby animal, domestic or wild, and report every wild animal that is acting strange (too friendly or oddly aggressive, showing no fear).

From VetMed - Rabies
"How will I know if an animal is rabid?

"The only conclusive way to know if an animal is (was) rabid is to identify the virus in brain tissue after the animal is dead. Given that rabies infects the brain it can cause a variety of clinical signs. There are two forms of rabies: dumb and furious. Dumb rabies is observed as animals that are too docile. They are not affectionate, but they will not run from humans. Wild animals normally avoid human contact so if a wild animal does not seem cautious when you approach it, it may be rabid. The other form of rabies, furious rabies, is more commonly seen. This is the stereotypical rabid animal that is vicious and will attack with out provocation. Foaming at the mouth and excessive saliva are not always present! If a mammal acts unusually aggressive, or displays any bizarre behavior, it may be rabid."

And if you think an animal is rabid and you have a gun handy, for pete's sake don't shoot it in the head! The only way to check for rabies is to check the brain, but that isn't going to happen if you've splattered it all over the shrubbery. And then call your local Health Department.

Sue

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#226243 - 06/20/11 10:48 PM Re: The Beginning of the End for Rabies. [Re: Susan]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3161
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Susan
And if you think an animal is rabid and you have a gun handy, for pete's sake don't shoot it in the head! The only way to check for rabies is to check the brain, but that isn't going to happen if you've splattered it all over the shrubbery. And then call your local Health Department.


In such a case my priority would be to end the threat as quickly as possible without endangering others. If an four-legged critter is charging, a head shot may be the best choice.

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#226245 - 06/20/11 11:08 PM Re: The Beginning of the End for Rabies. [Re: Art_in_FL]
jshannon Offline
Addict

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 585
Loc: North Texas
Beginning of the end of 100% mortality.

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