Md. resident dies from rabies
The death is the first case of rabies since 1976
By Scott Dance
The Baltimore Sun
BALTIMORE — A Marylander has died of rabies for the first time since 1976, state health officials said Tuesday. It is not yet known how the person contracted the virus, which is found in animals across the state.
Officials are exploring how and where the person was exposed to the virus and assessing the risk of rabies exposure to those who had direct contact with the individual. That risk is thought to be minor, as rabies is usually passed through a bite from an infected animal.
Health officials are not releasing any further details on the individual, citing privacy reasons. Human rabies cases have grown exceedingly rare in recent years. Over the past 10 years, fewer than five cases have occurred in the U.S. annually. The deadly disease, which can cause drooling, convulsions, fever and muscle spasms, is prevented in humans through a prophylactic injection of rabies antibodies and a series of vaccines soon after exposure occurs.