I was the first person in the world to survive RABIES without a vaccine – a disease with a 99 percent kill rate

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A ‘lucky’ woman made history after becoming the first person in the world to survive rabies without a vaccine.

She still can’t believe she is still alive today.

How it Happened

It was 20 years ago that Jeanna Giese was bitten by a bat as she carried it out of her local church in Wisconsin, US, where it had flown in and disrupted a service.

There was no blood and the wound on her left index finger was so tiny it was barely visible, so she didn’t think much of it.

She Began Vomiting

But three weeks later, the then 15-year-old became so tired she couldn’t get out of bed, and began vomiting and seeing double-vision.

Doctors diagnosed her with rabies, a disease with a 99 percent kill rate, saying the schoolgirl had only days left because she had missed the 72-hour window for the vaccine to be administered.

Doctor Used First Method Ever – ‘Milwaukee Method’

But then her doctor suggested they try something that had never been done before to treat the virus. 

Who Was the First Person Saved From Rabies?

Ms Giese was placed in a two-week coma to give her immune system time to fight rabies — which, miraculously, worked.

After spending two years in recovery where she learned to walk and talk again, Ms Giese went on to marry and become a mother of three.

She Is Grateful for Life

Revealing her life following the infection in 2004, she told CBS7: ‘It’s almost surreal to think, ya know, 20 years. My life changed completely when I got sick.’

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About 60,000 Americans are bitten by potentially rabid animals every year, which is considered a death sentence if someone doesn’t get the vaccine within 72 hours.

Rabies is nearly always fatal because it spreads to the brain where it causes inflammation that destroys brain cells.

But in Ms Giese’s case this was exactly the cycle doctors tried to break.

They placed her into an induced coma to suppress brain activity and prevent this deadly build-up of inflammation.

Now known as the ‘Milwaukee Method’, it has since been used to save at least two other patients — including then eight-year-old Precious Reynolds who was scratched by a rabies-infested stray cat in 2011.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.

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