18 Dec '11, 5pm

South Carolina Documents Its First Human Rabies Case in Over 50 Years

South Carolina Documents Its First Human Rabies Case in Over 50 Years

South Carolina health officials announced their first case of human rabies in over 50 years. A middle aged women contracted the disease from a bat in Sumter County, S.C. Human rabies is very rare with only about 2 to 3 cases per year in the U.S., according to Dr. Eric Brenner, epidemiologist with the state Department of Health and Environmental Control's Bureau of Disease Control. Sadly, once the disease is contracted, it almost always ends in death. "The rabies virus travels slowly through the body until it reaches the brain and central nervous system and produces serious initial symptoms including headache, difficulty swallowing, seizures, anxiety, agitation and confusion," he said to Reuters . "Most patients die within a few weeks after the onset of these symptoms." Worldwide Rabies Exposure While about 55,000 people die of rabies each year in the world, it’s virtually ...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/health/south-carolina-documents...

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