- Emergency medicine (145)
- Health and Wellness (605)
- Healthcare Compliance (3)
- Healthcare Public Relations (1)
- Hospitalist medicine (76)
- Injury & Illness (65)
- Medical Spas (5)
- Occupational Medicine (22)
- Patient Safety (61)
- Patient Satisfaction (36)
- Patient-Centered Medical Homes (199)
- Physician Recruitment (57)
- Preventative Care (74)
- Rules & Regulations (2)
- Urgent Care Services (44)
- Work Related Injury (3)
- Workers Compensation (3)
- Workplace Safety (22)
CDC says some Peruvians developed resistance to rabies
08.06.2012Popular wisdom generally has been that rabies in humans will result in certain death unless the infected person is quickly treated with emergency medicine.
However, it appears that it is possible, under very specific circumstances, for humans to survive untreated rabies. Findings the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) culled from a trip to the Peruvian Amazon, an area with a high population of rabies-prone vampire bats, show that one out of every 10 natives had survived an untreated bout with rabies. Blood tests indicated that 11 percent of the local residents had developed natural antibodies to protect them against the virus.
According to the CDC, most of the cases of rabies that occur in the U.S. are the result of bites from wild animals, especially raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes. Early symptoms such as fever, headache and weariness could be mistaken for numerous less severe diseases. Later, rabies progresses to cause insomnia, anxiety, confusion, agitation, partial paralysis, difficulty swallowing, hallucinations, hypersalivation and hydrophobia. The condition becomes fatal a few days after the onset of the latter group of symptoms.
"This is a potential game-changer if the study is repeated successfully," said Dr. Rodney Willoughby, Jr. of the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, quoted by HealthDay. Willoughby wrote an editorial that ran alongside the study in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. "It suggests either that rabies is not universally severe or fatal, or that there are ways of conferring relative resistance to rabies in humans."
Willoughby went on to speculate how genetic sequencing could be a way to promote relative rabies resistance for humans. This would be a noteworthy step forward toward prevention.
In Peru, the CDC surveyed 92 people, finding 50 who said they had been bitten by a bat. Sixty-three individuals were blood tested, and rabies-preventing antibodies were found in six who had never received a vaccination.
CDC postdoctoral fellow and lead scientist for this study Amy Gilbert told HealthDay that although these Peruvians may have built up an immunity to rabies, "the same recommendations and advice still hold." If an individual is bitten by a strange animal, he or she should consider seeking out urgent care services, where the patient might be able to get a rabies shot without having to make an appointment.
Categories: Health and Wellness
The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, a proposed bill for … more
An increase in healthcare wellness research that reveals how cancer cells bypass patients' immune … more