Given 2% Chance to Live, 8-Year-Old Survives Rabies


Precious Reynolds, the eight-year-old rabies victim who came into the hospital with only a 2% chance of survival, was discharged from UC Davis Medical Center on June 22, 2011, to go back to her Humboldt County, CA, home, according to ABCNews.  She is only the third survivor in the U.S. without the rabies vaccine shots.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the case was a rabies infection on May 6. It is thought to be the first-ever confirmed case of human rabies in Humboldt County, according to health officials.

The eight-year-old girl developed encephalitis—brain inflammation--and tests revealed she had rabies, which she got from a" feral or wild cat near her school when it scratched her on the arm during recess," according to an ABCNews video report. “The cat looked like a regular cat," Precious said.

But Precious’ symptoms were not identified as the deadly rabies virus when she was first taken to a local clinic complaining of  a stomachache. She then developed difficulty swallowing.  This was followed by a loss of muscle control, which made her unable to stand or walk.  According to the earlier News10 report, “Authorities think the girl may have been in contact with a rabid cat near her elementary school in the town of Willow Creek in Humboldt County.”

Tests by doctors at UC Davis Childrens' Hospital  verified it was rabies infection, a virus which affects the central nervous system, ultimately causing brain inflammation, and is usually fatal. Early symptoms of rabies in humans include fever, headache, and weakness or discomfort, and more severe symptoms appear as the disease progresses.

By the time she was correctly diagnosed, it was too late to administer the vaccine, so Precious was put in a drug-induced coma and given anti-viral medication.

Precious still wears an ankle brace and walks with a limp; however, eventually she should be able to walk normally, according to a nurse who cared for her.  A robust immune system and excellent medical care are credited with saving Precious’ life.

Watch an adorable video of the miracle girl here.


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