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Rabies Kills California Soldier Bitten by Afghan Dog

US Army Spc. Kevin Shumaker
Shumaker family photo / Contra Costa Times
US Army Spc. Kevin Shumaker

The only person to die of rabies in the United States this year was Army Spc. Kevin Shumaker of Livermore, California. The 24-year-old passed away in a New York hospital of the preventable disease - a disease he contracted breaking up a dog fight while deployed in Afghanistan, according to the Contra Costa Times.

Not surprisingly, Shumaker's parents are questioning why their son died of a treatable disease. Shumaker's mother Elaine Taylor told the Contra Costa Times the Army did not give her son the complete series of injections needed for rabies:

Taylor says Shumaker told her was was only given three of the six injections needed to prevent rabies after he was bitten by a stray dog in Afghanistan. The dog had attacked two other dogs the base had adopted as pets. Shumaker was breaking up the fight when he was bitten.


Jaime Cavazos, a spokesman for Army Medical Command, told the Contra Costa Times the U.S. Central Command is investigating how Shumaker contracted rabies and his "treatment in theatre."