The Girl Who Survived Rabies

The Girl Who Survived RabiesFour years after she nearly died from rabies, Jeanna Giese is being heralded as the first person known to have survived the virus without receiving a preventative vaccine. But Giese (pronounced Gee-See) says she would gladly share that honor with others if only doctors could show that the treatment used to save her could spare other victims as well. "They shouldn't stop 'till it's perfected," said Giese, now 19, during a recent interview about physicians' quest to refine the technique that may have kept her alive.

Giese's wish may come true. Another young girl infected with rabies is still alive more than a month after doctors induced a coma to put her symptoms on hold, just as they did with Giese. Yolanda Caicedo, an infectious disease specialist at Hospital Universitario del Valle in Cali, Colombia, who is treating the latest survivor, confirmed reports in the Colombian newspaper El PaĆ­s that the victim is an eight-year-old girl who came down with symptoms in August, about a month after she was bitten by an apparently rabid cat.

Caicedo said that the family had sought treatment for the bite in Bolivar, at a hospital about three hours by foot from their rural home, but that the child, Nelsy Gomez, did not receive the series of vaccines that can prevent the virus from turning into full-blown rabies.

Watch the full documentary now (playlist - 47 minutes)

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Ratings: 6.80/10 from 5 users.

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Comments and User Reviews

  • http://hiddenshelf,com eric

    what took place is extraordinarily important, watch this really attentively, what the so called modern medicine is doing, to see the false is truth

  • arkeron

    To me it seems like a mix of pet cemetery and Frankenstein.
    The self sufficient doctor claim ''she is mine''.
    Look to me she missing something.

  • Charles B.

    This was a great documentary!

    What the doctor said wasn't "She's mine" in the way "Arkeron" insinuated as being prideful, but rather that it is a privilege in medicine to help save a life and rarely do they get to do so decisively as in this case, and Giese "was his" (opportunity) to do so. A brilliant doctor indeed. I gave it a 10.

    Arkeron: Yes, Giese is "missing something", but I've known several head-trauma victims, and it can take years, if not a lifetime to recuperate, and neither of my friends with head trauma were doing as well as Giese even after a decade of recuperation. She's indeed a miracle; give her time. :-)

  • BoomerSooner

    Outstanding documentary! What a credit to the human spirit for both the patient and the doctor that had the guts to take a unknown path in the hope of healing. I must admit the "she's mine" remark is typical of doctors in general and their narcissistic view. This is not to say that ALL doctors are like that but overall their profession is similar to police officers or firemen in that they have a inflated self opinion of themselves. Just saying..

  • gaylord

    sounds like a zombie outbreak waiting to happen

  • Wendy

    At least Mr. B didn't die thrashing and screaming and foaming at the mouth. That's something.

  • Carl Hendershot

    @arkeron, I agree that was weird saying shes mine. This was pretty good. They really should keep trying with other cases.

  • http://rachelnico.wordpress.com rachelnico

    I never realized that this illness was so bad and incurable.

  • holy molly

    So I'm watching this doc and thinking to myself, "Wow I could have gotten rabies when I was seven". I was bit by a dog in my grandma's neighborhood in Panama. Thanking God for this right now.

  • eugler

    Nice and interessting story, but it could have been told generously within 10 Minutes. Between the interessting parts, there were loads of histrionic blabla and little information. At one point the narrator says that rabies is the only virus hiding inside the nervous system to avoid being killed which apparently makes it so dangerous and creepy. That's utter bs. From the top of my head CMV, EBV (Mononucleosis), HHV-1 & HHV-2 (both Herpes, nr. 1 upstairs and nr. 2 downstairs)do the same thing and are among the most common viruses there are. And if even I can think of 4, there's probably a sh*tload of them.
    Nevertheless Kudos to Giese and her Doctor.

  • Sammi79

    Amazing story although some parts are misleading. There is IIRC 1 recorded case of a man surviving rabies without any treatment, before or after displaying symptoms and there are a few others who have survived with treatment after becoming symptomatic. If you have the treatment within 72 hours of being bitten, you are 99.9% likely to survive unharmed, but even after that time the shots significantly decrease the likelihood of death (down from 99.9%). There must be a very small fraction of humans whose internal chemistry and immune systems make the virus less lethal as people do survive it (albeit very occasionally) in places like mainland India, and most of these are obviously never recorded in any way. Also, I believe it is not as uniformly fatal in dogs and possibly other mammals. I got bitten by a cat in the middle east and read ALL I could find about it and I must admit it is an extremely frightening disease. I never had the shots either, and the most scary thing about it is the incubation period. The average time from bite to symptoms in humans is roughly 1 to 3 months, BUT it may lie dormant for up to 10 years, if the texts I have read are to be believed.

    So pleased for Gina and her family, don't really understand what people mean when they say she's got something missing she seems completely normal to me. Oh and give that doctor a silver star but tell him if he wants a gold one he'll have to explain how the cure worked - we only used to get half marks for the correct answer to math problems, for the rest we had to show we understood what was going on.

  • mastorbatrix

    Actually, having rabies is my worst fear. I've had nightmares about it since I was a child. I don't get why don't they euthanize the people once symptoms start getting bad. It's a horrible death, they should put them out of their misery.

  • willdodge

    Well she was given an NMDA antagonist. This is the genius behind the protocol. This class of drug can prevent the most damaging excesses of brain activity that are caused by rabies, which presents as the convulsions, thrashing around and eventual organ failure. Preventing this gives the body time to fight off the virus. Normally other sedatives (benzodiazepines) are given which do ease the symptoms but do not save the patient. Without the drug she was given it is highly likely that she would have died. Therefore she was 'his' in that his innovation, which surprisingly had not been tested in previous cases, saved her life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sacco-Svd/860425351 Sacco Svd

    Just to let people die in a not so scary way I would promote inducing coma.

    Interesting disease, it f**ks up your OS to make your body fail.

  • thisismyspamemail

    I think (in my opinion) that mega dose vitamin C I.V. should be added to the protocol. I'd request it if it were me. It is shown to act against viruses, even herpes which is said to not be curable.