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Fort Drum soldier dies of rabies

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The Fort Drum soldier who recently contracted rabies while serving in Afghanistan has died.

Fort Drum officials said in a press release that Specialist Kevin R. Shumaker, 24, a 10th Mountain Division soldier, died Wednesday in an unspecified stateside hospital.

The circumstances surrounding how and where he contracted the illness remain under investigation, although he did not contract rabies in New York, military officials said. But a source in the north country community told the Times last month that the soldier had been bitten by a dog in Afghanistan.

Military officials had said that the soldier was diagnosed with rabies on Aug. 19. After that news was released, a spokesman for the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the public should not be alarmed.

Shumaker, of Livermore, Calif., joined the Army in February 2009. He was deployed to Afghanistan with the 615th Military Police Company as a cook from May 2010 to May 2011. He came to Fort Drum last month. He is survived by his mother and stepfather.

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