Rabies Treatment: Are We Anywhere Close To a Cure?

The short answer to that question is no. Every year, an estimated 59,000 people die from rabies. Usually contracted following a bite from an infected animal, rabies is almost always fatal in people who have not been vaccinated. Once symptoms appear, there’s little to no hope for the infected individual. The virus moves through the nervous system, traveling from the peripheral nerves up the spinal cord and into the brain. Within 3-12 weeks of exposure, symptoms develop, including fever, headache and anxiety. Within days, these symptoms develop into more severe signs, including aggressive behavior, frothing at the mouth, hallucinations and paralysis. Once the virus reaches the brain, it causes over-stimulation of nerve receptors, killing brain cells at an alarming rate. A protocol developed at the Medical College of Wisconsin, called the Milwaukee Protocol, was successful in curing a 45-year-old male patient, but attempts to duplicate the protocol have proven unsuccessful ever since.