Girl, 8, Beats Rabies Without Vaccine
Only the third in the US to have done so
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 13, 2011 8:23 AM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – An 8-year-old girl in Northern California has survived rabies—without receiving antiviral inoculations immediately after becoming infected. She’s only the third person in the US to have conquered the disease without getting the usual series of shots, hospital officials say. Precious Reynolds was likely bitten by a feral cat in April. But it wasn’t until her grandmother took her to the hospital because of flu-like symptoms in May that tests revealed she had rabies. When she arrived at the kids’ intensive care unit, “None of us thought she would leave,” said a nurse.

Doctors followed the process that was used in 2004 when a 14-year-old contracted rabies and also didn't receive the vaccine: They placed Precious in a drug-induced coma as they administered antiviral drugs over two weeks, the AP reports. “From the very beginning, Precious had a very rapid, robust immune response to her infection, which is a significant contributor to why she survived,” said a doctor. “She is truly a fighter."