The California mother of a soldier who died from rabies wants the Army to explain why her son died of a preventable disease.

Spc. Kevin Shumaker, 24, was bitten on the hand by a stray dog while breaking up a dog fight at a remote Afghanistan base in January. Eight months later, the Livermore soldier died from rabies in a New York hospital near Fort Drum, making him the only person to die of the disease in the United States this year.

Shumaker told his parents he was treated for rabies at the base, but said the series of injections was not completed.

“If he would have died from an enemy attack, we would’ve been devastated, but we knew he was in harm’s way when he was deployed.”

U.S. Central Command was investigating how Shumaker contracted rabies and his “treatment in theater,” said Jaime Cavazos, a spokesman for Army Medical Command.