An 8-year-old from California recently became the third person in the United States to have recovered from a rabies infection without the help of the rabies vaccine. According to HealthCanal.com, after Precious Reynolds began to complain of a severe stomach ache, her grandmother took her to their physician, who suggested appendicitis as the cause. When Precious was taken to the hospital, her symptoms increased and included an inability to swallow, lack of muscle control and pain in her neck and back. Appendicitis was quickly ruled out in favor of the final diagnosis: encephalitis.
After taking numerous blood samples, the encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain caused by an infection invading the organ, was found to be caused by rabies. Reynolds’ physicians treated her with a therapy that had been used on a rabies survivor in 2004, which had physicians placing Reynolds in a drug-induced coma and administering antiviral medication. This treatment was hugely successful, and Reynolds is starting to walk again with the help of physical therapy.
As evidenced by Reynolds’ case, appendicitis can often be hard to diagnose, given that other ailments have the same symptoms. These can include pelvic inflammatory disease, Crohn’s disease, Diverticulitis, kidney stones, an ovarian cyst or a urinary tract infection. This doesn’t mean that such symptoms should be disregarded. Rather, it is very important to know the symptoms of appendicitis so you can call a doctor just in case.
According to WebMD, symptoms can feel like indigestion and start near or around your belly button. Pain could get worse by moving or coughing and could be accompanied by a fever or nausea. If any sort of belly pain, even moderate pain, doesn’t disappear after four hours, you should call your doctor. If it is severe pain, you should call immediately.
Other symptoms of appendicitis include:
* Strong pain below your belly button on your lower right side. This is the most common place for pain with appendicitis.
* Pain in any part of your belly or on your side that does not go away and gets worse with movement.
* Nausea and lack of appetite.
* Constipation, back pain, fever or swollen abdomen.
* General sensation of not feeling well or having pain that is hard to describe.
If you have any of these symptoms, you should call your doctor; waiting on treatment could have serious consequences if the appendix bursts. There are no home treatments to combat appendicitis: Only surgery to remove the inflamed or ruptured appendix will solve the problem. The hope is that if it is appendicitis, the appendix won’t have ruptured. If it has, surgery is still possible, but a bit more difficult, as the rupture will have spread infection to the abdomen. Following surgery, most patients can leave the hospital within one to three days and resume normal activities in one to three weeks (if it is a laparoscopic surgery). Those who had a normal appendectomy can get back to normal activities in three to four weeks.
UC Davis Children’s Hospital Patient Becomes Third Person in U.S. to Survive Rabies, HealthCanal.com
Appendicitis – Treatment Overview, WebMD
What is Encephalitis, The Encephalitis Society