The world’s first case! Suspended death for 10 days, successfully deceived 100% deadly virus

  Faced with a 100% horrific fatality rate, Willoughby had a bold idea – hibernation. Drugs are used to make the brain enter a “low energy consumption” state, thereby effectively reducing the occurrence of rabies complications in the brain and reducing the damage to the nervous system. That is to say, he wants the girl to “feign death” to conduct an “immunity race” to deceive the virus.
  Fighting against a 100% fatality rate
  At the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Dr. Willoughby sits at his desk, frowning. He meets an unusual patient – Jenna.
   A few days ago, Jenna noticed occasional tingling tingling in her left hand, double vision, dizziness and nausea. The family doctor did an MRI on Jenna and found nothing unusual. But Jenna’s condition deteriorated further: she suddenly had a high fever, and she couldn’t move the left half of her body.
   Jenna came to the hospital in a wheelchair. After examination, Willoughby found that she had tremors and flaccid paralysis on the left half of her body. Routine cerebrospinal fluid and biochemical tests showed that she was infected with a certain virus, but all virus test results were negative.
   Jenna, who was getting sicker and was admitted to the ICU, started to gurgling bubbles from her mouth. Willoughby suddenly realized: very atypical neurological symptoms, drooling, fever, viral infection – Jenna had rabies!
   A medical history is essential to a diagnosis of rabies, but both Jenna’s parents deny that their daughter was bitten by a dog.
   Not a dog bite, what is that?
   It turned out that more than a month ago, Jenna went to church as usual. A bat fell to the ground, and out of curiosity, Jenna picked it up and carried it to the church door. Just as she was about to release the bat, the bat left a 5mm bloodstain on Jenna’s left index finger.
   The CDC found antibodies to rabies in Jenna’s cerebrospinal fluid and blood, and Jenna was diagnosed.
   Rabies has frightened countless doctors. After being infected by a sick animal, the patient does not show symptoms after an incubation period as short as one week and as long as several years. During the onset, the patient will be extremely excited and even violent, as well as a specific “hydrophobia”.
  People with rabies usually die from organ failure due to damage to the nervous system. However, pathological studies at that time found that the brain damage of rabies patients was not caused by the direct attack of the rabies virus on the brain, but from the complications of the disease.
   If there was a switch that could put the brain on hold and protect it from complications, while keeping the immune system functioning properly and attacking the virus, would Jenna have any hope of being saved?
   Faced with a 100% appalling fatality rate, Willoughby had a bold idea – hibernation. Drugs are used to make the brain enter a “low energy consumption” state, thereby effectively reducing the occurrence of rabies complications in the brain and reducing the damage to the nervous system. Meanwhile, the patient’s immune system continues to function. If the patient’s immune system can produce enough anti-rabies antibodies during this time, the virus can be eliminated. That is to say, he wants the girl to “feign death” to conduct an “immunity race” to deceive the virus.
   However, this method has never been tried by humans, not even animals, and the chances of success are slim, and patients are still very likely to become “vegetative” and at risk of serious complications.
   To gamble or not to gamble, Willoughby left the decision to Jenna’s parents.
  In an “immunity race” to cheat the virus, the
   ardent parents of their daughters chose radical therapy and decided to give it a go for their daughters.
   The treatment was not smooth at the beginning. Jenna in “hibernation” was like a small boat floating on the calm sea, and she might die at any time due to the sudden attack of the “big wave” of rabies.
   Not long after treatment, Jenna developed metabolic acidosis and hemolysis caused by drug overdose, accompanied by autonomic disturbances.
   In order to prevent Jenna from being completely overwhelmed by the drug due to excessive sedation and becoming a “vegetative”, Willoughby must keep an eye on her EEG changes. With the adjustment of the drug dose, Jenna’s vital signs returned to stable.
   The turnaround occurred on day 7, when the titer of anti-rabies virus antibodies in Jenna’s serum began to rise gradually.
   Willoughby lowered his ketamine dose on Day 8 as he made a last-ditch effort to win the gamble, waking Jenna from hibernation.
   On day 10, Jenna opened her eyes.
   But Jenna’s sloppy eyes confuse Willoughby: Does this mean she’s really awake, or is she opening her eyes due to involuntary muscle twitching due to neurological dysfunction after treatment failure?
   To figure this out, Willoughby took Jenna’s mother into the ICU to Jenna’s bedside. If the treatment is successful, Jenna’s demeanor may change when she sees familiar people.
   Jenna’s eyes blinked faster when her mother took off her mask – their bet paid off!
   After 31 days in the hospital, Jenna’s internal virus test turned negative. After 76 days of hospitalization, Jenna was discharged with neurological sequelae such as dystonia and chorea.
   Jenna, who was discharged from the hospital, still needs a long time for rehabilitation. Jenna is like a “big child” who needs to learn to walk, eat, write, and speak all over again. After long-term unremitting efforts, Jenna gradually returned to a normal life, was admitted to university, and successfully graduated.
   In 2016, Jenna became a mother by giving birth to twins.
  The Milwaukee Therapy Controversy
   With Jenna’s successful precedent, Willoughby’s Medical College of Wisconsin summarized the treatment as the “Milwaukee Therapy,” encouraging more clinicians to use it to treat rabies patients.
   Jenna’s case was a ray of hope for rabies treatment. Under the media coverage, rabies, which once frightened clinicians, seems to have become a paper tiger overnight.
   But is this really the case?
   A later article by Willoughby showed that the Medical College of Wisconsin continued to track cases using the Milwaukee therapy, and as of 2015, only seven of the 48 rabies patients who received the therapy were alive.
   Willoughby believes that although some patients have tried the Milwaukee therapy, they have failed because the hospital lacks a strong intensive care team and cannot do enough. In addition, a high-quality nursing team, nutritional support team, and drug reserve resources are also indispensable for the successful development of Milwaukee Therapy.
   A lot of effort, a lot of money, and a low rate of success have created a lot of opposition to the Milwaukee Therapy.
   Some scholars believe that the Milwaukee therapy only rescued the rabies virus carried by bats, which is less virulent. An article analyzed the rabies virus transmitted by different animals and found that the pathogenic causes of rabies virus in different hosts are very different, and the rabies virus transmitted by bats may not even affect the central nervous system at all.
   In my country, in 2017, Shenzhen Hospital of Southern Medical University tried the Milwaukee Therapy to treat a rabies patient. After a month in the ICU, the family chose to give up the treatment. The rabies patient ultimately failed to become the first patient to be cured in China and unfortunately passed away.
   Although the efficacy has been controversial, the Milwaukee Therapy, as the last straw for the treatment of rabies, has also gained a group of doctors to become its solid supporters.
  ”This method is indeed lacking evidence-based medical validation and has an extremely high failure rate. But in the face of the reality that rabies is 100% fatal, until more advanced treatments come out, is there any other way to use this radical approach? A better option?” said a doctor who actively promotes the Milwaukee Therapy.