Army seeking troops bitten by stray animals following rabies death – Army – Stripes

Wow, that is awful beyond belief.

Army seeking troops bitten by stray animals following rabies death – Army – Stripes.

SEOUL – The Army is redoubling its search for anyone who might have been bitten by a wild animal in Iraq or Afghanistan following the Aug. 31 death of a soldier from rabies, the service’s public health command stated Wednesday.

“The death of this soldier is very tragic, and we are taking actions to ensure something like this does not happen again,” Lt. Col. Steven Cersovsky, director of epidemiology and disease surveillance at the Army’s Public Health Command, said in the release.

Spc. Kevin Shumaker, 24, became the first soldier to die from rabies since 1967 after he was bitten by a stray dog in Afghanistan.

Shumaker told his parents that he received three of six necessary rabies shots in Afghanistan, but did not receive the final shots because they were expired, according to a Contra Costa Times report. Shumaker, a 10th Mountain Division soldier, died at Fort Drum, N.Y., eight months after the bite.

“I would not be without my son if the proper treatment was given to Kevin,” his mother, Elaine Taylor, told the newspaper in September.

Prayers for his family.


  1. whitecap nurse says:

    Wait… So, you’re saying that he knew he needed rabies shots, started the series and then did not finish because the only available vaccine was expired?? We have a rabies vaccine shortage in my area of the country but when we have a patient, we make damn sure we get the entire series for them. Seems like criminal negligence on someone’s part. Did they try following the Milwaukee protocol at least?

  2. This fairly confusing particularly when given cases where the DoD expended

  3. superhuman efforts in treatment… (suck @ html)

  4. anonymous says:

    Ah, this shines some light on an urgent set of emails gracing my inbox this week.
    The VA sent out no less than 3 different emails alerting providers to screen all OIF/OEF veterans for possible rabies exposure. IIRC, it specifically said to screen any veteran who had been deployed in the past 18 months.

  5. Glen in Odessa says:

    I hate to sound harsh, but there should be courts martial for the Medical Officer involved, as well as for the Unit CO. Expired medication is NOT a problem that can’t be overcome. The capability exisit to transfer patients to ANY US Miltary hospital withing about 48 hours, perhaps less for ambulatory patient.
    Once the necessary medication was found to not be available, the service member should have been on a flight to someplace were the needed medication was in stock.

    It is unpleasant for a service member to be removed from his command for medical treatment. It was necessary, and those in charge failed to see it done. It should be more than a paperwork exercise to deal with this problem. Part of the purpose of a courts martial is to remind others of the obligations they assume when taking the oath.