50 years ago, a 6-year-old boy became the first known rabies survivor

Apparent cure for rabiesScience News, December 4, 1971

The painful and always fatal virus disease rabies may at last be licked — not with the traditional series of rabies vaccine shots that sometimes ward off the disease after a person has been bitten by a rabid animal, but by the timely use of relatively simple medical techniques.… As a result [a 6-year-old boy] is the world’s only known survivor of rabies.


Though the boy was vaccinated, the shots — which have improved since the 1970s — didn’t prevent disease. Medical techniques used to treat him, including inserting a tube to help him breathe, giving seizure

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