California Girl Only Third in U.S. to Survive Rabies Without Vaccine


Debate Over Role of Treatment Protocol

s Dr. Rodney Willoughby, the author of the Milwaukee Protocol and professor of pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee says there's been some discussion over the role the treatment plays in recovery.

"Whether this is just a natural tendency for an occasional survivor or whether our therapy is providing added value is up for discussion," he said. "Some people may be able to survive naturally."

He pointed out the case of a patient in Texas in 2009 who also survived rabies but needed no intensive care treatment at all.

Willoughby also believes that survival rate may be closer to 20 percent, not zero.

Regardless of what may be up for debate, Roby knows one thing for certain: Precious is a survivor. The little girl is starting to walk again and will go home next week. She wants Precious and eveyone else to know it's important to avoid wild animals, but if they do get bitten or scratched, they need to get vaccinated right away.

"Talk to your kids about any kind of animal scratching or biting them. The shots don't hurt. They're a little expensive — but not half as expensive as having a loved one go through this."

ABC News' Jane Kurtzman, Sharde Miller, Angela Ellis and Neal Karlinsky contributed to this report.

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