Understanding Rabies – Could You Get it from a Dog Bite?

Categories: Dog Bites

rabid dog

After a dog attack, there are plenty of immediate issues to worry about. From the wound itself to infection and the emotional and physical trauma, victims have more than enough on their plate. Unfortunately, another worry is the issue of rabies.

Rabies is a viral disease that attacks mammals, but is preventable with proper vaccination. When a rabid animal bites a human, that individual can contract the rabies virus. Also, dogs can contract rabies if they are bit by an infected animal, such as a bat, skunk, fox, or raccoon.

Everyone is Susceptible to Rabies Infection

Everyone can contract the rabies virus, but there are only certain carriers of the virus. Transmission will begin when an infected animal’s saliva enters the wound of a non-infected animal. It is important to note that contraction of rabies today is very rare, but it can happen if you or a loved one is bitten by an infected animal.

All states collect information about rabies. Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes their own surveillance data for rabies transmissions, including the number of cases between dog and human.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Rabies?

If you have been bitten by a dog or rabid animal, it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of rabies in an infected animal, but also in yourself.

Rabies symptoms, at first, appear like the flu virus. They include weakness, fever, headache, and discomfort. The general symptoms could last for a few days. Also, an itching or prickling sensation could occur at the wound site.

Once the disease continues, the symptoms will change and become more severe. During the acute phase, which is two to 10 days, the clinical signs of rabies will appear. Clinical symptoms are almost always fatal, which is why it is imperative that rabies is found and treated before the clinical symptoms arrive.

Once a human shows other signs of the disease, the fatality rate is extremely high. In fact, the CDC quotes that there are only 10 survivals past the clinical stage of rabies.

How is Rabies Treated in Humans?

Rabies is fatal, and those who receive the rabies vaccine prior to the onset of symptoms are the only ones likely to survive. If you have been bitten by a rabid dog, you must receive a vaccination from the treating hospital immediately.

Aggressive treatments may be used, depending on the severity of the infection. There is no single treatment for rabies; instead, most of the care is supportive and palliative. Some patients may receive immunoglobulins, antibodies, interferon, and ketamine.

The vaccinations and treatments often involve multiple painful injections that must be administered intramuscularly. The wound is cleansed thoroughly to remove infected saliva, and injections are given around the wound site, as well.

Bitten by a Rabid Dog? Contact a Dog Bite Attorney Immediately

A dog bite attorney can help with the costs, pain, and suffering associated with a bite from a rabid dog. If you have been attacked by a rabid dog, there is no reason for you to endure the costs associated with a rabies recovery. If you have lost a loved one because of an infected bite, it is even more imperative that you contact an attorney.

Speak with attorney Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq. today for a free consultation by calling 215-771-0430 (his cell) or 215-987-3550 (his office). You can also request a consultation online.