Maharashtra Girl Survives (Probable) Furious Rabies Following Milwaukee Protocol

A girl from Thane, Maharashtra, has recovered from what seems to have been a clinically diagnosed case of furious rabies, according to the Mumbai Mirror newspaper.

There have been very few cases that have survived advanced form of rabies, once the symptoms gave set in. The newspaper report quotes Dr. Madhusudana, a Professor of Neurovirology at NIMHANS,  stating that there have been five patients who have recovered, albeit with extensive post-rabies sequelae. This patient, however, seems to have recovered without extensive neurological impairment, having only a little visual impairment.

The patient was treated with the Milwaukee Protocol, which was first tried out in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in September 2004, on a 15-year old girl called Jeanna Giese, under the care of Rodney Willoughby, Jr., MD. This protocol involves putting the patient into a chemically induced coma, followed by inundating the patient with antiviral medications (ribavirin). Giese went on to qualify from college in 2011, and recovered without having significant cognitive impairment.

The efficacy of the Milwaukee Protocol is hotly debated as medical specialists believe that some form of immunity develops in all patients, and there is a large likelihood that the infection is with a specially weak form of the virus.

Giese was infected with a bat variant virus, while it is not clearly known how the Thane survivor contracted rabies. Although the clinical signs of furious rabies are clearly mentioned in the news article, there is no mention of a viral isolation or a definitive diagnosis of rabies.

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3 thoughts on “Maharashtra Girl Survives (Probable) Furious Rabies Following Milwaukee Protocol

  1. Somebody probably already thought of this but what about the following combination:
    1) Favipiravir
    2) Ribavirin
    3) The Vaccine from the researchers from UGA (See: Beating the Clock UGA Rabies Treatment)
    4) Also, use the Milwaukee Protocol

  2. yes , the viral antibodies were isolated in CSF as well as serum. The virus could not be isolared but the presence of antibodies in CSF proved presence of virus and reaction.The analysis was done in WHO recognised CDC acknowledged centre NIMHANS. We did use a combination of protocols, Milwaukee was one of them that helped the patient to remain sedated. The predominant emotion seen was not rage as classically described but it was fear.

    • Were you part of the treating team? I am surprised this did not receive more media attention! Truly, a neglected disease with such a fascinating outcome. Would be interesting to note how the patient fares in the long term. Was the case published with details of the protocols in any peer reviewed journal? Would love to read more about this.

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