NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Officials have announced a breakthrough in the fight against rabies.
A new test now provides faster and more accurate results on potential patients.
The Centers for Disease Control says the LN34 test reveals whether a person or pet has rabies within two hours of being bitten by a suspected rabid animal.
The CDC says the brain tissue test will prevent people from going through unnecessary and painful treatments.
Kasey King-Pretrellese and her daughter were attacked by a coyote at the end of April while at a park in Westchester County. Her 5-year-old was bit, but both of them got the vaccine as a precaution.
“Having to get shots or vaccines or any type of injection at such a young age is not a pleasant experience at all,” she said.
It’s good the family received the shots since the coyote tested positive for rabies, but Petrellese says they had to wait a whole two days to get the results back.
“The waiting period to find out if it definitely was was agonizing for me,” she said. “I spent a lot of time thinking about the possibility if it’s rabid.”
Many veterinarians praise the new technology.
“If we can eliminate the fear for people and get information as quickly as possible, thats really the end all, be all,” Cheryl Gross from the Central Animal Hospital said.
Vets say rabies is a serious and often fatal disease if it’s not treated right away, so the faster they get back the results the better.
“In New York, every skunk, raccoon, fox, and bat is proven rabid until proven otherwise,” veterinarian Michael Woltz said.
The New York State Department of Health says it looks forward to seeing the results of more extensive testing so that the new LN34 test can be implemented in a lab setting.