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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4955 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2004 :  07:19:47  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message
According to today's New York Times, "a Wisconsin teenager is the first human ever to survive rabies without vaccination." (The whole story is here, but you'll need to register (it's free) to read it.)

She came to doctors over a month after being bitten by a bat in church. Because the rabies case was so advanced, doctors tried a radical new approach that appears to have saved her. However, because they aren't sure just what cured her, the doctors were cautious:
quote:
"You have to see this therapy repeated successfully in another patient," said Dr. Rodney Willoughby, the associate professor of pediatrics who prescribed the cocktail of medicines for the sick girl, Jeanna Giese, 15. "Until then, it is a miracle."
Ugh.

As expected, the parents of the girl are all too eager to give credit to the supernatural:
quote:
Her father, John Giese, said he was grateful to the doctors and their novel treatment, but added that prayer had made the crucial difference. "The day after we found out, I called on everyone we knew for prayer," he told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this week. "We believe a lot of that snowballed and it really made a difference."


I guess all those other people who have regularly died from illness, disease and infection didn't pray enough, eh?

Wendy
SFN Regular

USA
614 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2004 :  09:22:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Wendy a Yahoo! Message Send Wendy a Private Message
I read the article hoping it would include the parents' reasons for waiting so long to take their daughter to the doctor. Apparently they're just dumbasses. That the bat bit the child at all should have tipped them off to the fact it was probably rabid.

Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do on a rainy afternoon.
-- Susan Ertz
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satans_mom
Skeptic Friend

USA
148 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2004 :  09:28:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send satans_mom an AOL message  Send satans_mom a Yahoo! Message Send satans_mom a Private Message
Perhaps because they thought that since the bat was *inside* of the church, it was surely blessed with God's holy sanctimony. It was a Christian bat, therefore, it would cause no harm to the girl.

Yo mama's so fat, she's on both sides of the family.

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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4955 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2004 :  11:37:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Wendy

I read the article hoping it would include the parents' reasons for waiting so long to take their daughter to the doctor. Apparently they're just dumbasses. That the bat bit the child at all should have tipped them off to the fact it was probably rabid.



Right. I can't imagine that any encounter with a bat wherein blood is drawn wouldn't immediately suggest to the parents that they take the kid to a doctor, if only as a precaution.

Perhaps they didn't have health insurance...
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2004 :  12:47:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
quote:
Perhaps they didn't have health insurance...


They had all the health insurance they needed. They prayed. It's just too bad people be as blind as a bat (eh, Verlch?) when it comes to medicine and faith healing.

Edited to add:

Post #1000 YAY

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
Edited by - Ricky on 11/25/2004 12:48:21
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9682 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2004 :  13:01:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
Though the doctor's little cocktail saved the day (and the girl), and this is an important step in medicine(!), a part of me is lamenting the fact that a Darwin Award couldn't be nominated. If stupidity is indeed a heritable trait, it may now have been passed to the next generation.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1888 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2004 :  14:53:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Cuneiformist

As expected, the parents of the girl are all too eager to give credit to the supernatural:
quote:
Her father, John Giese, said he was grateful to the doctors and their novel treatment, but added that prayer had made the crucial difference. "The day after we found out, I called on everyone we knew for prayer," he told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this week. "We believe a lot of that snowballed and it really made a difference."


I guess all those other people who have regularly died from illness, disease and infection didn't pray enough, eh?

I want a job like the xian god, "All the credit, none of the blame." If she had died it would have been god's will, and not the malevolent nature of their omnipotent creator. I suspose it's just too uncomfortable for many to try to think outside the book.

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2004 :  14:57:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Y'all have pretty much said it all. I can only add that any bat, in this country, found on the ground or even approching people can be assumed to be rabid. I've been called upon to deal with three over the years, all little brown bats if you must know. All tested positive for rabies.

Do not ever mess with a bat nor any wild mammal that will approach you! They are all very cute and cuddly and can give you a particularly nasty death.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2004 :  03:20:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Cuneiformist

quote:
Originally posted by Wendy

I read the article hoping it would include the parents' reasons for waiting so long to take their daughter to the doctor. Apparently they're just dumbasses. That the bat bit the child at all should have tipped them off to the fact it was probably rabid.



Right. I can't imagine that any encounter with a bat wherein blood is drawn wouldn't immediately suggest to the parents that they take the kid to a doctor, if only as a precaution.

Perhaps they didn't have health insurance...

Don't be too judgmental. The paper may have it wrong. We had 2 rabies deaths in this state. One case involved a bat being found in the kids bedroom but it didn't appear to have bitten the kid. That is not an uncommon scenario.

Recently, a person I work with had to get her son rabies shots and her dog and cat had to be quarantined 90 days. The dog found and brought a dead bat in the house and the son picked it up to throw it out. If I hadn't said she needed to go to the health department right away, she really wouldn't have known that was an exposure. It turned out the cat had brought a dead bat in a week or so earlier as well. The animals' rabies shots weren't up to date but they had had them in the past. If they hadn't, the animals would have been destroyed. The bat tested positive. In addition, there were several other cases that were similar so the health department put out a notice to all clinics that there had been a rash of infected bats recently.

Anyway, bite or not, lots of people just totally underestimate the risk. I know about rabies in bats but a lot of folks think more of dog bites. Do you think anyone bit by a raccoon would know they need rabies shots?
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4955 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2004 :  08:39:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by beskeptigal
Don't be too judgmental. The paper may have it wrong. We had 2 rabies deaths in this state. One case involved a bat being found in the kids bedroom but it didn't appear to have bitten the kid. That is not an uncommon scenario.

Recently, a person I work with had to get her son rabies shots and her dog and cat had to be quarantined 90 days. The dog found and brought a dead bat in the house and the son picked it up to throw it out. If I hadn't said she needed to go to the health department right away, she really wouldn't have known that was an exposure.


I guess this was my point. In general, if you (or your kid) has had a close encounter with any sort of wild animal-- especially small animals like bats where a bit might go unnoticed-- you should see a doctor if only as a precaution. As the article noted, this girl's survival is the only known case of rabies not being fatal without the shots. If I had a little girl ahd she were close enough to the bad to touch it, we'd be at the doctor's within 36 hours.
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