Soldier Died of Rabies from Dog Bite


A soldier was admitted to the Hospital after experiencing symptoms of shoulder and neck pain and tingling sensations in his hands soon after arriving at Fort Drum, N.Y., in mid-August 2011. Once admitted he tested positive for a strain of rabies associated with dogs in Afghanistan where he had been on assignment. Doctors at the hospital attempted an experimental treatment to try and save him. Within days of being admitted, the patient was suffering from severe brain hemorrhaging and his family decided to take him off life support. He was the first US service member to die of rabies since 1974.

The soldier was bitten in January of 2011. When speaking with family and friends after the incident the soldier said that he had been bitten by a feral dog in Afghanistan and had sought medical treatment which consisted of cleaning the bite and some sort of injection.

But an investigation by the US Army turned up no documentation of a reported bite wound or treatment, nor any record of a dog tested for rabies, around the time of the incident. Since the soldier’s was walking around on the street and interacting with people not knowing that the had rabies and therefore not taking any sort of precautions his death prompted a scare that he may have spread the disease to other people. The CDC came in to investigate and ultimately tracked down about 190 individuals he interacted with while potentially infectious. At least 22 of them received treatment as a preventive measure.

Bites even small ones to yourself from an animal or to your dog from another animal should be properly treated and medical help found. If you don’t know the animal or the owner cannot provide proof of vaccination of their dog or cat you must consult a medical professional and the offending animal must be tracked down.

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  1. Such a shame..fight for your country and end up dying of rabies.

  2. Very sad. RIP

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