What You Need to Know About Rat Bites

What You Need to Know About Rat Bites Most of us prefer to keep our distance from these pests. They usually strike fear in us, and we do not want to be near them. However, they are common pests and have large populations throughout the US. They can be found out in the woods, in the grass, along the sidewalks and, unfortunately, sometimes they venture into our homes.

When they start invading our personal space, we are put on edge. We think, what type of threat they pose to us and what types of diseases can they spread to our family. We may even imagine them attacking us in our sleep. It is a scary thing to know that they are under the same roof as we are.

The risk of getting bitten by a rat

Rats are equipped with some seriously scary large teeth. They can deliver extremely painful bites when the rat becomes scared or feels threatened. However, healthy rats typically avoid people and prefer to be active when buildings are quiet. This means that the chances of getting bitten are fairly low, but it is still possible.

Rats are wild animals that can be unpredictable and will defend themselves when cornered. Their best type of attack would be to lunge and bite at whatever is threatening them. Their bites can be shallow or deep. They can display single puncture wounds or multiple abrasions. Most victims will notice bleeding. As with any other type of bite, you run the risk of an infection, so you should always clean and disinfect the area as soon as possible.

The risk of diseases

Being bitten by a rat, always heightens your chances of being infected by certain diseases, and you should know what you need to look for if you happen to be bitten by a rat. Some of these diseases require early detection to treat them effectively.

  • Rat-bite fever or RBF. This is a rare disease, and you will usually notice symptoms within three to ten days after being bitten. However, it could take as long as three weeks for symptoms to show. These symptoms may include headaches, fever, vomiting, muscle pain, joint pain or a rash. The treatment is typically to take a round of antibiotics. If this disease goes untreated, your internal organs like your heart, lungs or brain can become infected causing serious problems or even death.
  • Leptospirosis can cause a wide range of symptoms to no symptoms at all. You may start to notice symptoms within two days to four weeks after being bitten. Some people may experience a high fever, headaches, chills, vomiting, Jaundice, muscle aches, abdominal pains, diarrhea, a rash or red eyes. This disease can also be treated with antibiotics or intravenous antibiotics for severe cases. Without treatment, this disease may cause liver failure, kidney damage, meningitis, respiratory distress, and even death.
  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome or HPS. Due to the small number of HPS cases, the “incubation time” is not positively known. However, it appears that symptoms usually develop within one to five weeks after being bitten. This disease has two phases, and you should seek treatment as early as possible. The first phase is noted by fatigue, fever, chills, muscle aches, dizziness and stomach problems. The second phase of this disease is much worse and is noted by shortness of breath, coughing and your lungs filling with fluid. There is no known cure or treatment for HPS; however, those that seek medical attention early have a higher chance of survival. They can be incubated and put on oxygen therapy to help them throughout the rougher patches of the disease. This disease has a mortality rate of 38%, so if you fear you have been exposed, seek medical help immediately.

Rats can be scary creatures, and we do not want them invading our personal space. However, sometimes this happens and disastrous results can happen. If you do get bitten by a rat, you should seek medical help immediately.

It is important to clean and disinfect the area, but there are many things lurking in that bite that can cause some serious problems. You need to let your doctor know you have been exposed to a rat bite and take all the necessary precautions to ensure your safety. Once you are home, you can look into finding a reliable company to remove all the rats from your home and make sure that they do not reenter.


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