The Illinois Department of Public Health reported its first case of rabies in humans since 1954.
A man died after being bitten by a bat while he slept at his home in Illinois.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the virus diagnosis after testing it in the lab.
According to the Department, an elderly man in his 80s reportedly came to the hospital with a bat bite on his neck. The bat was immediately captured and when tested, he was found positive for rabies.
The man was treated in the hospital but later on, developed symptoms associated with rabies. The man began to have symptoms like headache, neck pain, difficulty in mobilizing his arms, difficulty in speech, finger numbness, and body numbness. The man died later in the hospital.
The Illinois Health Department stated that all the people who came in contact with the secretions of the infected elderly person were given rabies preventative treatment as per a protocol so that they do not develop the disease.
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the Director of IDPH stated “rabies has the highest mortality rate of any disease. However, there is a life-saving treatment for individuals who quickly seek care after being exposed to an animal with rabies. If you think you may have been exposed to rabies, immediately seek medical attention and follow the recommendations of health care providers and public health officials.”
Rabies in human beings is very rare in the United States of America. One or three cases maximum are reported in the country every year but exposure to rabies is common nationwide. According to research, almost 60,000 Americans get themselves a post-exposure vaccine from rabies every year.
Rabies can be fatal as it attacks the central nervous system of the human being and this disease can cause brain death in severe cases.
Bats are the most common rabies carrier in America. The man who died of the disease had a bat colony in his home in Illinois. So far, 30 bats have been reportedly captured and tested positive for rabies in Illinois this year.