INDIANAPOLIS – A 10-year-old girl who was diagnosed with Indiana's first confirmed case of rabies in nearly half a century died Thursday, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Shannon Carroll had been bitten by a rapid bat in June and had been hospitalized since early October, said Riley Hospital for Children spokeswoman Jo Ann Klooz said.
More than 30 of the girl's relatives, friends and classmates were offered injections to prevent the spread of the disease. Some parents whose children attend the girl's school in Bourbon, 25 miles south of South Bend, worried about possible exposure since rabies can stay dormant for more than a year.
Rabies is a viral disease transmitted to humans and other animals through saliva, usually in a bite. It attacks the brain and nervous system and typically leads to death once symptoms appear. Human-to-human transmission of rabies is possible through direct contact with saliva, health officials said.
State records show Indiana's last human rabies case was in 1959, when a Sullivan County resident died from the disease.