The US Had 5 Rabies Deaths Last Year, Highest Numbers in a Decade

Last year, five Americans died of rabies, the most in a decade, and health officials revealed Thursday that some of the victims were unaware they were afflicted or rejected life-saving vaccines.

Three of the deaths were linked to bat interaction, according to a study issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The fatalities, according to the CDC, were unfortunate and could have been avoided.

One guy, an 80-year-old Illinois man, refused to accept life-saving doses due to a long-standing vaccination phobia. Because they believed that no bat bite or scratch would break their skin, an Idaho man and a Texas youngster were not given immunizations.

People “either trivialized the exposure (to bats) or did not realize the seriousness of rabies” in all three cases, according to Ryan Wallace, a CDC rabies expert who co-authored the research.

In the year 2021, two more people died. One of the victims was a Minnesota guy who was bitten by a bat. The injections were given to him, but they were ineffective due to an undiscovered immune system abnormality, according to CDC experts. After being bitten by a rabid dog while vacationing in the Philippines, the second victim died in New York after returning to the United States.

Rabies is a virus that infects the central nervous system and causes death in both animals and humans. It’s conveyed most usually through a bite from an infected animal, with bat encounters accounting for the majority of cases in the United States in recent years.

Infection can induce sleeplessness, anxiety, disorientation, paralysis, salivation, hallucinations, swallowing difficulties, and a fear of water.

Only a few weeks after symptoms appear, death might ensue. However, it can be avoided by administering a series of five doses within two weeks of exposure.

According to the CDC, an estimated 60,000 Americans are treated each year for suspected rabies exposure.

In 2019 and 2020, no rabies deaths were reported. The last time five rabies deaths in the United States were documented in a single year was in 2011, according to CDC authorities.

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