Six-year-old boy dies from rabies he contracted after being scratched by an infected bat.
In a shocking case, Ryker Roque, a 6-year-old died on Sunday at an Orlando hospital after touching a bat which his father Henry had found in the garden and put in a bucket.
While a person survives rabies if they are given a vaccine immediately after being infected, but the six-year-old’s parents only cleaned his wound and did not take him to the hospital because he cried when they told him he would need a shot.
A week later his fingers started to numb, he was unable to walk and began hallucinating, prompting his parents to take him to seek medical help.
While he did undergo experimental treatment that has only cured two patients in the US, he succumbed to the nearly always fatal disease.
A week after the incident of the scratch, Ryker had developed numb fingers, a headache and started hallucinating and was taken to the hospital where tests determined the worse - Ryker had rabies.
Rabies is almost always fatal once these neurological symptoms develop.
A vaccine given after a infection but before symptoms appear almost always prevents the disease, but for Ryker it was too late.
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.
Because the patient's brain activity is suppresses while in a coma, doctors expect minimal brain damage while the infected person's immune system absorbs the drugs to kill the disease.
Rabies kills more about 60,000 people every year worldwide, mostly children in Africa and Asia, according to the CDC.