A devastated father is mourning the death of his 6-year-old son who passed away from rabies after being scratched by a rabies-infected bat in his home state of Florida.
According to ABC News, the bat scratched Ryker Roque after his father, Henry Roque placed the bat in the bucket.
According to the New York Post, Ryker's father decided not to take the boy to the doctor after he was scratched because Ryker cried over the possibility of getting shots.
Approximately a week after the bat scratched him, Ryker began hallucinating and complaining of a headache. He was rushed to a local hospital where it was determined he had contracted the rabies virus. Ryker received a revolutionary treatment called "the Milwaukee protocol," which although it has saved the lives of two US children and a handful of people worldwide, did not work for Ryker, who died on Sunday.
The method requires antiviral drugs be administered during a chemically induced coma.
The Florida Department of Health issued a statement saying, "It is important to avoid direct contact with wildlife. If you believe you may have been exposed to rabies, contact your health care provider and your county health department immediately. If an exposure occurred, it is important to administer treatment right away."
Once symptoms occur, rabies is almost always fatal. But, if the vaccine is administered before symptoms appear, it is almost 100 percent curable.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, preventative medicine has proven to be almost 100 percent successful in eradicating U.S. rabies deaths, which declined to one or two annually in the 1990s from about 100 in 1900. An estimated 40,000 to 50,000 people are treated every year for rabies.
Have you ever had to have a rabies vaccination?