INTERVIEW: Rabies survivor Jeanna Giese

The world's first survivor without the rabies vaccine, Fond du Lac's Jeanna Giese, will teach a program on rabies at the Children's Museum of Fond du Lac on Sep
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 5:40 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Wednesday, Sept. 28, is World Rabies Day, the 15th annual day to raise awareness of the world’s deadliest infectious disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No one raised more awareness of this disease than Fond du Lac’s Jeanna Giese.

In 2004, after being bitten by a downed bat, she became the first unvaccinated person to survive rabies. She was put in a medically-induced coma at Children’s Hospital after becoming sick. Two-and-a-half months later, she was released. The treatment, which became known as the Milwaukee Protocol, has been used to save a double-digit number of people around the world since.

Now, 18 years later, she is a mother and a teacher, and she will be teaching a class Wednesday at 10 A.M. at the Children’s Museum in Fond du Lac as part of World Rabies Day.

Jeanna talked with Action 2 News at 4:30 anchor Chris Roth, who asked her if it’s gotten easier telling her story over time, and the question she hears the most from the children she teaches. Plus, does she feel any pride in being a trailblazer? Watch the interview above.