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. 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 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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