Gone But Not Forgotten
- Aug 7, 2001
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Northern Va. Man First Reported U.S. Human Death from Raccoon Rabies
Atlanta (AP) - Scientists have documented the first human death in the United States from raccoon rabies. And the victim is from northern Virginia.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported today that a 25-year-old office worker died in March from rabies. The man, who was not identified, was hospitalized in mid-February with flu-like symptoms. He died after 14 days in the hospital.
Genetic analysis of tissue samples by the CDC (website/news) determined the man had gotten rabies from a raccoon.
Doctors could not figure out how or when the man became infected, despite extensive interviews with relatives, friends and co-workers.
The Virginia case is the only death reported so far in 2003.
Virginia's last fatal rabies case was in December 1998, when a prisoner died at the Nottoway Correctional Center in Burkeville.