Minnesota man dies from RABIES after waking up to a rabid BAT biting his hand

Minnesota man dies from RABIES after waking up to a rabid BAT biting his hand

The man, 84, caught the bat and quickly washed his hands with soap and water Testing revealed the bat had rabies prompting him to start treatment Do you know the man in this story? Email: [email protected]

A Minnesota man died of rabies last year after waking up to find a rabid bat biting his hand, US health officials have revealed.

The 84-year-old, whose name has not been released, patted the animal and quickly washed his hands with soap before returning to bed with his wife.

The couple was administered rabies treatment for post-exposure prophylaxis that included a series of rabies shots and antibody injections.

But five months later, the man returned to the hospital complaining of severe pain on the right side of his face and excessive tears in his eyes.

He died 15 days later after suffering severe swelling of the brain and spinal cord, according to a new report published in the Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

84-year-old man bitten by rabies-infected silver-haired bat (stock photo of silver-haired bat) Doctors who treated the 84-year-old were based in Duluth, Minnesota (Photo). The man came from Minnesota

Doctors said this was the first recorded US case of a rabies patient dying after receiving ‘timely and appropriate’ prophylactic treatment.

Rabies is almost always a fatal infection if patients are not given medication before symptoms appear.

It is caused by a virus that targets the central nervous system, causing inflammation in the brain and spinal cord.

Humans can be infected by rabid animals – including bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes – usually through the saliva of infected animals.

Symptoms usually begin three to eight weeks after infection and begin as fever, headache, muscle weakness and general discomfort. But then it will progress to confusion, agitation, hallucinations, paralysis and coma.

Five Americans died of rabies last year, records show

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said four deaths were caused by bats, and the fifth by a rabid dog.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says two to three rabies deaths are typically reported in the United States each year.

But in 2021, the latest date available, five deaths were recorded, including the 84-year-old man and a seven-year-old boy. Four patients were bitten by bats and one by a dog in the Philippines.

Dr Stacy Holzbauer, an epidemiologist at the CDC, said the report summarizes ‘the first reported failure of rabies [treatment] in the Western Hemisphere’.

They suggested that the treatments failed because the patients had an undiagnosed immune condition, which made the vaccines less effective.

The bite occurred on July 27, 2020, but the man did not contract the disease until January of the following year.

He had several underlying medical conditions, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney problems and an enlarged prostate.

On his first trip to the hospital, he received a rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) drug and three doses of the rabies vaccine.

The man went to the hospital three times complaining of sudden pain on the right side of his face and tearing in his right eye before being admitted.

By this time, however, the facial pain had worsened and he began to suffer night sweats, redness of the right eye, facial paralysis, and pain in the left ear.

Further swabs revealed that the man had encephalitis, or a swelling of the brain and spinal cord. He also developed a fever of 103.1F (39.5C).

Doctors intubated the man to support his breathing, but eventually the decision was made to withdraw treatment. He died 15 days after symptoms appeared.

Testing revealed that he had contracted rabies that was identical to that on the bat that bit his hand.

Rage: Death all over again

Rabies is a viral infection that targets the nervous system and brain.

It is fatal in 100 percent of cases left untreated – and has an incubation period of 20 to 60 days.

It is spread only from infected animals to humans, most commonly through the animal biting or scratching the person.

It can also be spread by the saliva of an animal that is in contact with pasture or a cut on human skin. Most cases of rabies result from a bite from an infected dog.

Symptoms of the disease include high temperatures, numbness in the area where the bite occurred and hallucinations. Some victims also have hydrophobia, which is the fear of water.

There are approximately 55,000 cases of rabies worldwide each year with over 95% of cases occurring in Africa and Asia. Half of all rabies cases occur in India.

Rabies is one of the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that mainly affects poor and vulnerable populations living in remote rural areas.

Approximately 80% of human cases occur in rural areas, and although effective human vaccines and immunoglobulins for rabies exist, they are not readily available or accessible to those who need them.

Globally, deaths from rabies are rarely reported and children aged 5-14 are frequent victims.

Each year, more than 29 million people worldwide receive a vaccine after being bitten. This is estimated to prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths from rabies each year.

Source: WHO

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