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Vampire Bat Bites Help Shield Peruvians from Rabies

Rabies has been thought of as virtually 100-percent fatal unless treated immediately, but new research shows that a small number of isolated Peruvians have natural immunity from the animal-transmitted disease.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in 15 people living in the remote Amazonian region in Peru were protected without medical intervention against the virus that kills more than 55,000 people globally every year.

Their trick: Vampire bats exposed the remote Peruvians to enough of the rabies virus to confer resistance, but not enough to kill them.
 
 

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