HEADLINES Published September25, 2014 By Staff Writer

First Rabies Survivor Weds

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Jeanna Giese
(Photo : Sapo1985-Wikimedia Commons)

For any woman, getting married to the love of her life is always a special occasion-but it's extra memorable for Jeanna Giese. If it weren't for a controversial treatment now known as the Milwaukee Protocol, she would have not been around to enjoy her life.

Twenty-five-year-old Giese married Scot Frassetto last weekend after dating for around 2 1/2 years. The wedding was held in Fond du Lac, her hometown where she suffered a major disease.

Giese hogged the headlines when she became the first person to ever survive a rabies infection without getting the vaccine. Rabies still remains one of the deadliest diseases in many countries, especially in developing nations. The virus can remain incubated for many days and then slowly inch its way to the brain, where it becomes incurable. It has an almost 100% fatal rate unless the bitten person receives a post-bite vaccine.

Giese was only 15 years old when she was bitten by a bat after attending a church service. After treating the wound, her family decided to forgo seeking any medical treatment until she developed a high fever and jerking movements more than 30 days later. She was later diagnosed with rabies.

Dr. Rodney Willoughby Jr. and his team then developed the Milwaukee protocol, which involved inducing Giese into a coma while administering very strong antiviral drugs to encourage her body to produce the antibodies to get rid of the virus.

After several days of treatment, she was finally discharged, although the disease and the protocol compelled her to relearn many basic functions including walking and talking.

In 2013, Giese discovered that her dogs were also bitten by rabid bats. They immediately received some rabies vaccines and quarantined for about 2 months.

Giese, who incidentally developed fondness with bats, was just happy to be married with a man who expressed he had never been felt so loved. She invited her doctors to the memorable occasion.

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