Milwaukee protocol

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The Milwaukee protocol, sometimes referred to as the Wisconsin protocol,[1][2] was an experimental course of treatment of an infection of rabies in a human being. The treatment involves putting the patient into a chemically induced coma and administering antiviral drugs. As of 2016 the protocol is considered a failure.[3]

It was developed and named by Rodney Willoughby, Jr., following its use in the treatment of Jeanna Giese.[4] Giese, a teenager from Wisconsin, became the first patient known to have survived rabies without receiving the rabies vaccine.[5] It is unclear precisely why Giese survived,[6] but her case led to sustained and heavy advocacy for the Milwaukee protocol and it was used as an attempted treatment for rabies infection in a number of cases, but never with success.[6]

Subsequent medical research has determined that the Milwaukee protocol is not an effective treatment for rabies infection and its use is not recommended.[6][3]


  1. ^ Michael Smith. "Rabies Rescue Protocol Fails in New Cases". MedPage Today, April 20, 2007. Accessed January 15, 2012.
  2. ^ "Human Rabies --- Indiana and California, 2006" Accessed 15 January 2012
  3. ^ a b Zeiler FA, Jackson AC (2016). "Critical Appraisal of the Milwaukee Protocol for Rabies: This Failed Approach Should Be Abandoned". Can J Neurol Sci (Review). 43 (1): 44–51. doi:10.1017/cjn.2015.331. PMID 26639059. 
  4. ^ Rodney E. Willoughby, Jr., online "A Cure for Rabies?" Scientific American, V. 256, No. 4, April 2007, p. 95
  5. ^ Jordan Lite (2008-10-08). "Medical Mystery: Only One Person Has Survived Rabies without Vaccine--But How?". Scientific American. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  6. ^ a b c Jackson AC (2016). "Human Rabies: a 2016 Update". Curr Infect Dis Rep (Review). 18 (11): 38. doi:10.1007/s11908-016-0540-y. PMID 27730539. 

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