Immigrant's rabies death set off search for others

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — The death of a Guatemalan immigrant from rabies last year at a Corpus Christi hospital set off a transnational search for others who may have been exposed.

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports (http://bit.ly/1kIVAJt ) that more than 700 people were assessed for rabies exposure in what Ryan Wallace, a rabies expert for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called a very rare scenario.

Federico Mendez-Hernandez began showing symptoms after Border Patrol captured him in South Texas following his illegal entry. The 28-year-old Mendez-Hernandez had traveled through four federal detention centers and two hospitals before dying in June 2013. Yet in the end, investigators determined only two dozen people required vaccinations.

The CDC was unable to determine how Mendez-Hernandez had contracted the incurable virus.

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Information from: Corpus Christi Caller-Times, http://www.caller.com

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