The Ministry of Health, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) and the National Animal Health Service (SENASA) confirmed a case of human rabies.

Image for illustrative purposes

The patient is a man bitten while handing a bat last August 15, when he was on a walk in the canton of Dota.

After the bite, the man did not go to any medical center but proceeded to clean the wound.

According to the CCSS, for several weeks the man showed no symptoms. However, he went to a medical center after feeling pain in his upper left limb, numbness in both hands, muscle weakness, symptoms of malaise, disorientation, as well as difficulty swallowing.

Currently, the patient is in the Intensive Care Unit on life support. The name of the man or the medical center was not released to the press.

Daniel Salas, director of Epidemiological Surveillance of the Ministry of Health, explained this is an isolated case while calling on the population not to approach or provoke wild animals and in case of being bitten immediately go to the closest health center.

Is Rabies Really 100% Fatal?

Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain in humans and other mammals. … It is spread when an infected animal scratches or bites another animal or human. Saliva from an infected animal can also transmit rabies if the saliva comes into contact with the eyes, mouth, or nose.

Rabies is an acute viral infection caused by a virus that mainly attacks the central nervous system, causing a progressive viral encephalomyelitis almost always fatal; Transmission is usually through saliva from the bite of an infected animal, where the virus of saliva passes to the wound.

New research has shown that humans may be able to survive Rabies without vaccination or treatment after all. Even in animals who carry Rabies the virus isn´t completely fatal; 14% of dogs survive. Bats can survive too.

It affects both humans and warm-blooded animals more often than dogs and cats, it also affects wild animals such as bats, coyotes, wolves, and foxes.

The first symptoms can appear from a few days to more than a year after the bite occurs. One of the most distinctive signs of a rabies infection is a tingling or twitching sensation around the area of the animal bite. It is often accompanied by a fever, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, nausea, and fatigue.

Rabies in Costa Rica

Costa Rica health authorities ask to vaccinate cats and dogs since they could be bitten by bats and pass rabies to humans.

In Costa Rica, there has not been a case of rabies since 2014, according to a press release by the CCSS, when a 9-year-old boy and resident of Palmar Norte died of rabies, after, apparently, bitten by an infected squirrel.


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