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Can rabies be cured? How long is the latent period of rabies as we all know, we need to inject rabies vaccine in time after being bitten by dogs, otherwise we will get rabies. However, few people know how terrible a kind of incurable disease rabies is. It has a long incubation period and a low cure rate. There are no infectious diseases that are difficult to overcome in hundreds of years or even thousands of years. Let's learn how terrible rabies is!

In principle, rabies can only be prevented, not treated. Since ancient times, rabies has always been the most lethal infectious disease. Once symptoms appear, there is no doubt that rabies will die.

The treatment of rabies is still a great challenge to modern medicine. Improving the survival rate of rabies patients can help us better understand the pathological and immunological mechanism of rabies, and help us to develop a new generation of drugs to prevent and treat rabies. The treatment of rabies may also serve as a model for the treatment of more complex nervous system infections. Human beings have made a lot of attempts in the treatment of rabies, but no breakthrough has been made.

Up to 2004, the medical literature has reported five patients who survived the disease, all of whom had been vaccinated against rabies, but all of them later developed symptoms of rabies. However, the situation of these five survivors is not ideal, some of them have serious sequelae, and some of them have only lasted for 2-4 years.

The world's first unvaccinated but cured rabies patient appeared in the United States in 2004. The patient was a high school girl who was bitten by a bat and had evidence of laboratory diagnosis. The direct cost of the patient's treatment was $800000. At that time, the major media all over the world rushed to report the incident.

But this case has many doubts. This case is infected with rabies virus from bats. Compared with the virus from dogs, this kind of virus is less pathogenic to humans. The pathogenicity of the virus could not be verified because the virus could not be isolated from the case. Later, doctors used the same method to treat rabies caused by canine virus, and almost no one was successful. More than 98% of rabies cases in the world are caused by canine virus, so the value of the above "success" is very limited. Cell and mouse studies have also shown that the method used to treat this case is questionable and has no theoretical basis. In addition, there have been cases of 'self-healing' after bat rabies virus infection in the United States: in 2009, an American Teenager suffered from an attack one month after direct contact with bats in the cave, but recovered and discharged two weeks after the onset. This makes it reasonable to doubt whether the "cured" case in 2004 is a rare case of self-healing?

Some researchers are even opposed to trying the treatment plan in 2004. They think it is necessary to further study the relationship between the pathogenesis of rabies virus and the immune response, and find new methods to treat human rabies on this basis, instead of blindly repeating the invalid treatment.

"Rabies can't be cured. It's not rabies that can be cured.". For now, at least for canine rabies, that's true. The domestic examination and approval department has never approved any medical advertisement related to "cure rabies" or any individual or institution engaged in relevant treatment activities. However, there are many institutions or individuals that claim to be able to cure rabies in China, most of which are under the guise of ancestral secret recipe and traditional Chinese medicine treatment. There are often reports of curing rabies in domestic newspapers, Internet and even professional magazines, but they are not recognized by international academic circles because there is no reliable basis for laboratory diagnosis.

Various illegal advertisements and unlicensed practice of medicine do great harm to people's normal prevention of rabies. China's modern rabies detection technology has been gradually established in the last decade. Wuhan Institute of biological products where I work has the first rabies detection center in China. Over the past decade, our testing center has tested and evaluated the cases provided by a number of units and individuals claiming to be curable rabies in China. As a result, none of the cases claimed to have been 'cured' can be proved to be rabies. Most of the cases can be totally denied to be rabies only from the analysis of history and other relevant data.

Although human has not made a breakthrough in the treatment of rabies, but the goal is more and more clear, the hope of success is also growing. At present, scientists are developing a variety of animal models for rabies treatment, and various novel clinical trials will follow.

In recent years, a major breakthrough in rabies vaccine research has attracted worldwide attention. Dr. Bernhard dietzschld's research team from Thomas and Jefferson University in the United States has developed a new live attenuated rabies vaccine, which is not only a highly effective and safe preventive vaccine, but also may be used for early treatment of rabies. The vaccine is based on the new technology of reverse genetics. It can induce a significantly enhanced immune response in mice already infected with rabies virus. Even if the early symptoms have appeared, a single vaccination of this kind of vaccine is enough to remove the virus from mice. I think this kind of vaccine may provide a promising new way for the treatment of rabies.

With the gradual improvement of survival rate of rabies patients, we will have a more comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the unique pathological mechanism of viral encephalitis, which has the highest consistent death rate. On this basis, not only rabies may be cured, but also the relevant treatment methods are likely to be applied to other infectious nervous diseases.