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A 60-year-old cattle rancher from Mantena, in eastern Minas Gerais, had a confirmed diagnosis of human rabies. He is admitted to a hospital in Greater Vitória, in Espírito Santo, and the Espírito Santo government has confirmed the case.

Image/Robert Herriman

The Secretary of Health of Espírito Santo (Sesa-ES) says it was notified April 13 about a suspected case of human rabies in a resident patient in Minas Gerais and who was hospitalized in the state of Espírito Santo. “After analyzes carried out by the Institute for Agricultural and Forestry Defense (Idaf), the case was confirmed to be human rabies on April 15, and updates are being sent to the health authorities.”

The patient was transferred to a hospital unit in Greater Vitória, where he remains hospitalized receiving care. Sesa also informs that it has already met with Idaf to outline actions to be carried out with the aim of preventing and controlling the disease.

The 60-year-old man is a resident of Mantena and was initially treated at the State Hospital Dr. Alceu Melgaço Filho in Barra do São Francisco (ES), on April 7th. The patient had mental confusion and progressed to clinical worsening that culminated in his transfer to the ICU (April 8) of the same hospital, at which point the diagnostic hypothesis of human rabies was suggested.

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Laboratory samples were collected for tests. Family members reported to the doctor that days before the onset of symptoms, the man handled a calf showing atypical behavior and excessive salivation. The man thought the animal was choking and put his arm in the animal’s mouth in an attempt to disengage it. Days later, the calf deteriorated and the decision was made to sacrifice and incinerate it. This decision was taken in order to avoid possible spread of disease to other animals.

The cattle breeder did not consider the possibility that it could be an animal rabies condition and stopped looking for post-exposure prophylaxis at the municipal health services. “After a few days, the man began to show neurological clinical manifestations and sought the emergency service in the municipality of Mantena, which, upon understanding the severity of the condition, transferred him to a hospital in ES, given the geographical proximity”.

The patient remains hospitalized in critical condition. And, in the early hours of April 16, considering the severity of the condition, the transfer to the State Hospital Dr. Jayme dos Santos Neves, in the municipality of Serra-ES.

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