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She has survived one of the deadliest diseases in the world

Jenna was the first human to survive rabies.
Photo: youtube / JennaGiese
  1. That Jenna Giese survived a deadly disease is a miracle.
  2. Rabies is a deadly virus infection
  3. Rabies must be treated immediately
  4. Jenna survived

That Jenna Giese survived a deadly disease is a miracle.

Jenna has done something that no one has done before her. She has survived a disease in which scientists assume that if left untreated, it is definitely deadly. The now 26-year-old from the US state of Wisconsin fell ill with 15 years of rabies.

In September 2004, Jenna was bitten by a bat in the left index finger because she wanted to help the injured bat. After 37 days, Jenna noticed muscle tremors and walking difficulties . She was hospitalized. Here was the immediate suspicion of rabies infection.

Rabies is a deadly virus infection

Rabies is one of the few infectious diseases that cause death even if left untreated today. The virus infection in humans leads to an almost always fatal meningitis. Dogs, cats, foxes or wolves can become rabid.

Without a vaccine or the administration of an antivirus after infection, the disease is always fatal within 15 to 90 days. According to WHO estimates, around 55, 000 people die of rabies each year. However, vaccination is only necessary if you are in vulnerable areas. Any doctor can clarify that.

Rabies must be treated immediately

Only immediate treatment with an antiserum will help. If symptoms of rabies already occur, it is too late for an antiserum. Therefore, in Jenna's case, an experimental therapy was tried to protect her nervous system from the deadly infection.

That saved Jenna's life. She is now considered the first human in the world who has survived rabies without a timely antiserum. Nevertheless, it is still unclear how she actually survived the infection. Whether it was the cocktail of medications or simply their self-healing powers, doctors can not say. Similar attempts to cure people with rabies like Jenna have failed in many cases. So far, only 5 more people survived with the same treatment.

Jenna survived

Jenna is well again. She has a college degree. If you see Jenna go, you can still see the traces of her severe infectious disease. Still, she is a confident, happy young woman. And indeed: She is not afraid of bats. "I think bats are misunderstood, " she says. So much forgiveness for the animal that infected her with rabies. Respect, Jenna!