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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011 Aug 12;60(31):1050-2.

Human rabies from exposure to a vampire bat in Mexico --- Louisiana, 2010.


In August 2010, CDC confirmed a case of rabies in a migrant farm worker, aged 19 years, hospitalized in Louisiana with encephalitis. The man developed acute neurologic symptoms at the end of July, shortly after arriving in the United States from Michoacán, Mexico. Despite supportive care, his condition deteriorated, and he died on August 21. Antemortem diagnostic testing confirmed the diagnosis of rabies, and samples collected at autopsy were positive for a vampire bat rabies virus variant. The patient's mother reported that he had been bitten by a bat in July in Mexico but had not sought medical care. Postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) was offered to 27 of the patient's contacts in Louisiana and to 68 health-care workers involved in his care. Although bats have become the primary source of human rabies in the United States, this is the first reported death from a vampire bat rabies virus variant in the United States. Clinicians caring for patients with acute progressive encephalitis should consider rabies in the differential diagnosis and implement early infection control measures.

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