Health | Science

Rabies Is Supposed To Be A Death Sentence, But An Experimental Procedure Saved Her Life

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With modern medicine, there are very few diseases that still strike fear into our hearts the way rabies does.

A human suffering from

It's not the world's deadliest disease, or even very common, but for decades it was common knowledge that if you had rabies, your days were numbered. Rabies is a virus that attacks your brain, stopping your body from swallowing, or your mind from regulating your heartbeat and breathing.

Before symptoms set in (which usually takes less than a week) you can take five rabies vaccines which increase your chance of surviving the disease. They contain dead samples of the rabies virus, which helps your body fight the disease by building antibodies.

The rabies vaccine is effective, but there's a short time limit to take it.Washington City Paper

But once a patient develops the early symptoms, there's not much a doctor can do. Even now, researchers haven't found the "magic bullet" to effectively treat rabies. In some countries, patients suffering from the virus are simply comforted until they pass away, or even sent home to die.

Jenna Giese was 15 when she contracted rabies.Youth Health

So you can appreciate how scared 15-year-old Jenna Giese was when she realized she had caught the virus. Incredibly, Jenna survived to become the first person who outlived the rabies virus. But it wasn't easy...

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