Six-year-old dies from rabies after touching infected bat

Ryker Roque, 6, has tragically died from a severe case of rabies. (Photo: GoFundMe)

A six-year-old boy has tragically died from a severe case of rabies after being scratched by an infected bat in a wooded area near his home in Eustis, Fla. Ryker Roque’s scratch reportedly went untreated, and he started experiencing hallucinations and convulsions a few weeks after he was bitten.

His family rushed him to the emergency room.

“The doctors explained that if it was rabies, he had a zero per cent chance of survival,” the family’s GoFundMe page explained. A few days after he was hospitalized, tests showed that Roque was, indeed, positive for rabies.

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Ryker Roque scratched by an infected bat in a wooded area near his home. (Getty)

Desperate, the family opted for an experimental procedure to try and save the boy’s life. The therapy, dubbed the “Milwaukee Protocol” requires a patient to be treated with antiviral drugs while in a medically-induced coma.

In 2004, a 15-year-old Wisconsin girl underwent the therapy and became the first human ever to survive rabies without vaccination.

Unfortunately, the procedure didn’t work on Roque and he died on Sunday.

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In unvaccinated humans, rabies is almost always fatal after neurological symptoms have occurred, so it’s important to get vaccinated as soon as possible after exposure, preferably within six days. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, tens of thousands of people are successfully protected from developing rabies through vaccination after being bitten.

One of the most common ways for humans to contract rabies is through a bat (they spread the disease through saliva), so it’s important to remind children not to touch wild animals.

When bitten by an unknown animal, the CDC recommends washing the wound thoroughly with soap and water and seek immediate medical attention.

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