Massachusetts man in critical condition in state's first human rabies case in 75 years
Massachusetts public health officials suspect the man contracted rabies from a bat at his residence.
December 30th, 2011
01:59 PM ET

Massachusetts man in critical condition in state's first human rabies case in 75 years

A Massachusetts man is in critical condition after contracting rabies, the state’s first human case of the disease in 75 years, a Public Health Department spokesman confirmed to CNN on Friday.

The Barnstable County man is in his 60s and is not being identified, Health Department spokesman John Jacobs said.

Health officials suspect the man, who is in Cape Cod Hospital, contracted the virus from a bat at his residence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are performing tests to confirm the species, according to a Health Department news release.

The man’s family may have been exposed and are being treated, CNN affiliate WCVB reported.

Rabies is a virus that is spread from saliva, most commonly through a bite. It can be deadly in animals and humans if not treated quickly. The virus attacks the brain and nervous system. Common symptoms in animals include excessive drooling and unusual aggression. Humans may exhibit fever, sore throat and numbness or tingling at the site of the bite, according to medical manuals.

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Two or three people die from the disease each year, a 97% drop over the past century, according to the CDC.

Two weeks ago, a South Carolina man died from rabies, the state’s first case in half a century, CNN affiliate WPDE reported.

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Filed under: Animals • U.S.
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    You don't have to like me.
    You don't have to talk to me, either.
    I'm comfortable with your descision not to.

    December 30, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linda (Jim)

      You're great, banasy! You always remain classy, even with the Lindas of the world!

      December 30, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    Jim, you little stinker!
    Why...I oughta...
    My fetish for symbols?

    You just gave me the biggest laugh of the night!

    You truly *are* one of the best I've seen in these parts!

    December 30, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Thanks, banasy. I've decided to stop trolling, at least for a while. The trolling here has gotten extremely juvenile. It ruins it for everyone. How was your Christmas? Mine was good.

      December 30, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    Actually, banasyland is a fun place to be!

    December 30, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    Lots of people get bitten by old bats around here. Some of them are dogs too. 🙂

    December 30, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Philip

    The symptoms of rabies and blog addiction are almost the same; "excessive drooling" (over strangers and other bloggers) and "unusual aggression", aggression usually reserved for places like schoolyards and dysfunctional families. Is there a cure for bloggies disease? h

    December 30, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    Yes, around the holidays it's especially bad.
    School's out,y'know.

    I think it is almost always fatal once it's been diagnosed; but I have heard it's an ugly, painful way to go.
    I truly hope that they can save him somehow!

    Come back to trolling, Jim; you're one of the funniest, and I think I said this before: you're like the "Where's Waldo" of trolls!
    And harmless, too...

    December 30, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    Forgot to answer you:
    My Christmas was nice. I was surrounded by my extended family, which always makes for a lively, if exhausting time.

    Thanks for asking.

    December 30, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Hugh Jass©

    Rabies kills 50000+ worldwide every year.

    December 31, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. hiltz006

    Isn't this how the first episode of Walking Dead started?

    It's the end I tells yah!

    January 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
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