Four years after she nearly died from rabies, Jeanna Giese is billed as the first person known to have survived the virus without receiving a preventative vaccine. But Giese (pronounced Gee-See) said they’d gladly share that honor with others if only doctors could show that the treatment used to save her could spare other victims as well. “They should not stop” until it is perfected, “said Giese, 19, during a recent interview about physicians’ quest to perfect the technique that can be kept alive.
Giese wish will come true. Another young man infected with rabies is still alive more than a month after doctors induced a coma to get their symptoms in hopes, as they did with Giese. Yolanda Caicedo, an infectious disease specialist at Hospital Universitario del Valle in Cali, Colombia, who is treating the latest survivor, confirmed reports in the Colombian newspaper El País that the victim is a child of eight years came down with symptoms in August, about a month after being bitten by a cat apparently rabid.
Caicedo said the family had sought treatment for the bite of Bolivar in a hospital about three hours walk from their house, but the child, Nelsy Gomez, has not received the vaccine series that can prevent the virus become full-blown rabies.