Florida boy dies of rabies after sick bat scratches him

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Ryker Roque, a 6-year-old Florida boy, died Sunday at an Orlando hospital after contracting rabies from a sick bat about a week prior to being admitted to the hospital.

Ryker Roque's father Henry told NBC that the boy died Sunday at an Orlando hospital.

After accidentally scratching himself on the bat, Ryker's parents cleaned his wound.

The dad said he washed the wound thoroughly but didn't take the boy to the hospital because he cried when he was told he would get shots. Roque said he though his son might have been hurt playing, but doctors immediately became concerned when he told him about the scratch from the bat.

A week after the incident of the scratch, Ryker had developed numb fingers, a headache and started hallucinating and was taken to the hospital where tests determined the worse - Ryker had rabies.

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The vaccine is effective if taken shortly after transmission, but once symptoms are present, rabies is almost impossible to survive.

The parents opted for the child to be placed into a medically-induced coma as part of the Milwaukee protocol - an experimental treatment on those infected with the rabies virus.

While he did undergo experimental treatment that has only cured two patients in the U.S., he succumbed to the almost always fatal disease.

A fundraising site has been set up to raise money for Ryker's medical bills. The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that rabies is a "vaccine-preventable disease", meaning that immediate treatment, or post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), is successful at stopping the onset of symptoms that precede death.

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