Reuters reports:

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A 15-year-old Wisconsin girl who received an experimental treatment to become the first person known to survive rabies without a vaccination has been released from hospital, a spokeswoman for the hospital said on Sunday.

Jeanna Giese of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, was released on Saturday from Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, where she had been treated for the disease since mid-October.

The deadly virus, which attacks the nervous system and is usually transmitted through an animal bite, can be prevented with a vaccine if treated immediately.

But the teenager, who contracted the virus from an infected bat on Sept. 12, did not seek medical care until symptoms appeared and it was too late for the vaccine.

Doctors at Children’s Hospital devised a new treatment that involved inducing a coma to allow Giese’s body to better fight the infection, and administering a cocktail of drugs, Children’s Hospital spokeswoman Jackie Gauger said.

The hospital said in a statement on its Web site ( that Giese was “…the first person in the world to survive the disease without receiving a vaccination after infection.”

The girl, who regained weight, strength and coordination in recent weeks and will continue to receive therapy at home, is expected to make a near-full recovery, the statement said.

“She is progressing very well, better than they had even expected,” Gauger said.

The new treatment shows promise for use in developing nations where rabies infection is more common than in the United States, and could be used for other illnesses that affect the nervous system, the Web site statement said.

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