Rabies Virus Introduction
March  2007
An Alberta man is in intensive care in Edmonton hospital with deadly rabies!

Last summer he was bitten on the shoulder by a bat as he slept in his house.  He did not have any medical treatment after the bite. His symptoms began in January. Rabies is a fatal disease.  He is the first case of rabies in a human in Canada since 1985. Now, fourteen people (health professionals, family and friends) who were exposed to this rabies patient are being treated.  This is because in theory, it is possible for the virus to pass by direct contact via saliva or body fluids from one person to another.

What could he have done before being bitten?
See pre-exposure prophylaxis in  Vaccination Protocols

If he didn’t like to co-habit with bats, exterminate the ones in the house!  See  Distribution

What could he have done after being bitten?
See post-exposure prophylaxis in  Vaccination Protocols

Rabid man in 1959 (Wikipedia 2007)
But this girl survives rabies....

A 15-year-old girl who was bitten by a bat became clinically ill a month later (Willoughby et al 2005).  She was bitten on the finger by a bat she rescued and released after it flew into a window.  Her wound was washed with peroxide but she did not receive any vaccine after the bite.  Once she showed signs of rabies and her parents understood that rabies is a fatal condition, they agreed to have doctors induce her into a therapeutic coma using the drugs ketamine, midazolam, ribavirin and amantadine so that her immune system could respond.  After eight days she showed an increased antibody level.  She eventually left hospital isolation and went home after 76 days, not yet fully recovered, but alive!

This website contains information concerning the rabies virus and its exchange between pets, wildlife and humans.

It is intended for pet owners, veterinary students, travellers with pets and general public concerned about possible exposure to rabies. 

All images are public domain.

March 30, 2007

Website design: Leighton Coma, Ann Lukey
VTMC 333.2
Western College of Veterinary Medicine
Class of 2009
For Professor V. Misra

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