Girl, 8, And Brother Die From Rabies A Week Apart After ‘Wild Animal’ Attack

Three young siblings were taken to a hospital after a “wild animal” attack over the holidays. But only one of them survived. 

On Saturday, one of the three siblings, an 8-year-old girl, reportedly died from rabies after being bitten by bats early last month. 

The girl passed away a little more than a week after her 7-year-old brother died due to the same virus on Dec. 28, the Mirror reported. 

The two died at Doctor Aurelio Valdivieso General Hospital in the southern Mexican city of Oaxaca. The trio was from the remote mountain village of Palo de Lima in Mexico. They were attacked by bats in early December. Specific details about the attack were not immediately known. 

Hospital chiefs confirmed the girl’s passing due to the rabies virus this week. Meanwhile, tests did not show her brother had the virus until after his death. 

The third sibling, a 2-year-old girl, was also taken to the hospital for treatment. The little girl was bitten on the back by bats. She stayed at the facility for nine days for her treatment, and she has since been released, according to Daily Star

Though the wild animal attack happened earlier in the month, the three were only taken to the hospital weeks later with the help of their grandfather. Authorities said poverty prevented the kids’ family from sending them there sooner. 

“She was admitted to hospital on December 21, 2022, with health problems after being bitten by a bat and was diagnosed as being in a serious state of health by experts who evaluated her,” Oaxaca’s Health Service said in a statement issued after the girl’s passing. 

“During her stay in the medical center, a group of multidisciplinary specialists [was] keeping a close eye on her evolution. However, she suffered irreparable damage to her health, which resulted in her tragic death,” the facility explained. 

Official data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that cases of human rabies infection in the United States are rare, with only 1 to 3 cases being reported each year. 

In the past decade, from 2009 to 2019, only 25 cases of human rabies infections have been reported in the country. Seven of the cases acquired the virus outside of the U.S. and its territories, according to the public health agency. 

Thanks to animal control and vaccination programs, the number of human rabies deaths in the country has steadily declined. The disease is almost always fatal in humans, but it is preventable if treatment is promptly administered after exposure to rabid animals, as per the CDC

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