Published: Wed, January 17, 2018
Health Care | By Gwendolyn Kim

Little boy dies after contracting rabies from bat scratch

Little boy dies after contracting rabies from bat scratch

Ryker Roque's father Henry told NBC that the boy died Sunday at an Orlando hospital. He put the bat in a bucket on the front porch and told his son, Ryker, not to touch it "under any circumstances".

Six-year-old boy dies from rabies he contracted after being scratched by an infected bat.

Harry applied the first aid of washing his son's hand with soap and hot water, but decided not to take Ryker to the hospital for additional treatment because his son cried when he was told that he would be getting shots.

Because the virus had infected his brain, Ryker's only chance at life was to undergo an experimental treatment called the Milwaukee Protocol where the patient is put into a coma while administering anti-viral drugs.

According to the creator of the protocol, Dr Rodney Willoughby, it has saved at least two children in the USA and 18 people around the world.

A week later, the boy complained of having a headache and that his fingers were numb. When Roque mentioned the bat, he said doctors became gravely concerned.

"I mean, alarms, bells, whistles went off", he said. They explained to Harry that rabies is nearly always lethal once the symptoms start showing.

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With bats it can be hard to tell that you've been bitten due to the small size of their teeth.

A GoFundMe account was also set up for the family.

Additionally, the incubation period for rabies can be months meaning symptoms develop long after the incident occurred. According to the CDC, "once a person begins to exhibit signs of the disease, survival is rare".

Willoughby's relatively new method of treatment for the disease has worked in some cases in the past.

It was developed by Rodney Willoughby in 2004 when successfully performed on 15-year-old Jeanna Giese from Wisconsin.

She was sedated and treated with antiviral drugs, which cured her.

At the time this article was written, the crowdfunding page was just under halfway to its goal of $20,000.

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