What to do if a rabies-infected animal bites you?


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The fox that bit Rep. Ami Bera, a reporter, and a minimum of 7 different individuals in Washington, D.C. Tuesday was euthanized and examined optimistic for having the rabies virus, Each day Submit reported.  

Well being specialists advised Each day Submit it’s important that an individual who’s bitten by an animal instantly search medical remedy and attempt to get the animal examined for rabies, if potential.  

DC Animal Control

DC Animal Management “captured” a rogue fox hounding lawmakers and different guests to Capitol Hill this week.
(US Capitol Police)

The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention acknowledged on its website that rabies is an epidemic attributable to a virus. It impacts the central nervous system, which consists of the mind and spinal wire. The Federal Well being Company stated as soon as signs of rabies seem, the illness is “nearly always fatal.”  


Dr. Fred Davis is the Affiliate chair, emergency medication at Northwell Well being System on Lengthy Island in New York and advised Each day Submit that rabies is a deadly illness and people ought to search remedy instantly after getting bit or scratched by a wild animal. Davis stated chunk victims ought to obtain remedy previous to exhibiting signs of the illness, which might embrace fever, complications, and extreme salivation. 

In keeping with the CDC, early signs of the virus moreover fever and headache also can embrace weak point or discomfort and a prickling or itching sensation on the place of the chunk. The well being group additionally stated the illness can progress and “Within days, an infected person may become anxious, confused, and agitated. As a person gets sicker, they may become delirious, hallucinate, be unable to sleep, and unable to swallow or quench their thirst.”  

DC Animal Control

DC Animal Management “captured” a rogue fox hounding lawmakers and different guests to Capitol Hill this week.
(US Capitol Police)

Some well being specialists advised Each day Submit that in extreme instances, a person could exhibit hydrophobia, a “fear of water,” which is triggered by excessive ache the affected person experiences when making makes an attempt to swallow fluids, together with water and saliva. 

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Davis advised Each day Submit, “Rabies is a virus that is spread by the saliva of infected animals. Usually this will occur from a bite or saliva of the infected animal coming in contact with an open wound”. 

Davis additionally stated, “If you get bit by an unknown animal, especially if that animal is acting odd (a nocturnal animal out during the day) or a dog that cannot be watched for unusual behavior, then you should seek emergency care.” 


The CDC stated the virus is predominately present in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. Globally, individuals are sometimes contaminated with rabies from bites from canine, the CDC stated on its web site.   

Davis stated preliminary remedy sometimes contains cleansing the wound, after which treating the person with PEP, Postexposure prophylaxis (PEP). 

Postexposure prophylaxis consists of a dose of human rabies immune globulin (HRIG) and rabies vaccine given on the day of the rabies publicity. One other dose of vaccine is then given once more on days three, seven, and 14-post chunk, in accordance with the CDC web site.  

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“For people who have never been vaccinated against rabies previously, post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) should always include administration of both HRIG and rabies vaccine,” the CDC acknowledged and likewise famous the “combination of HRIG and vaccine is recommended for both bite and non-bite exposures, regardless of the interval between exposure and initiation of treatment.” 

The CDC additionally cautioned vacationers who’re bitten by an animal whereas abroad to get again to the USA or to a different space to obtain remedy since vaccination and medicines for rabies publicity are usually not accessible in every single place on the earth. 

Dr. Robin Sturtz, a veterinarian and Director of the Vet Tech program at Lengthy Island College in New York, advised Each day Submit, that rabies is a critical concern on the subject of animal bites. “There are less than a handful of survivors of rabies when left untreated.”  

Sturtz advised Each day Submit that an animal with late stage rabies normally seems agitated and disoriented. Sturtz additionally stated that nocturnal animals similar to raccoons, who’ve the virus, will seem within the daytime hours and even method people. Sturtz stated the very best recommendation is to steer clear of wild animals, name animal management, and admire them from afar. She additionally confused the necessity for pet house owners to get their canine and cats vaccinated in opposition to rabies.  

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Sturtz additionally addressed the notion that animals with rabies “foam at the mouth.” The veterinarian defined to Each day Submit that the animals don’t essentially “foam at the mouth” however are reasonably drooling. Sturtz stated the virus assaults the animal’s nervous system, and it can not swallow its saliva, so the animal begins to drool, which created this description.

To guard your self from rabies the CDC supplied the next recommendations on their web site:  

Keep away from animals when touring 

  • Don’t contact canine, puppies, or different animals. This goes for strays in addition to pets. Not all nations require pets to be vaccinated in opposition to rabies. Even animals that seem wholesome can unfold rabies.
  • Supervise kids intently, particularly round canine and puppies, cats and kittens, and wildlife.
  • For those who journey along with your pet, watch it intently. Don’t enable it round different native pets or wild animals.
  • Keep away from bringing animals house to the USA. Canine and cats could also be contaminated with rabies however not present indicators till a number of days or months later. For those who do determine to convey an animal with you to the USA, pay attention to CDC’s and USDA’s animal importation regulations.
  • If you’re touring to work with animals, convey and put on applicable protecting gear.


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