While rats will never really attack someone, they will bite if they feel pressured or cornered. Most of the time, these bites do not develop into anything serious, but they can lead to infections or they can cause a disease known as rat-bite fever. Here is everything you need to know about rat bites:
The symptoms of rat-bite fever
The biggest issue when getting bit by a rat is RBF. This disease is mostly caused by rat bites, but squirrels, weasels, mice and even cats can cause it as well. At the onset of the disease, you will usually get a rash that ranges in color from red to purple in the area of the bite. There are also two variations of the disease caused by two different bacteria. The most common type is the streptobacillary rat-bite fever, and the less common is the spiriallary rat-bite fever.
The symptoms for streptobacillary RBF will start to appear within 3 to 10 days, although in most cases, the bite will heal without any problems. The symptoms include joint pain, fever and chills, muscle pain, headache, skin rash, vomiting, and diarrhea. Spirillary RBF will have its first symptoms in one to three weeks, and these symptoms include headache, fever and chills, muscle pain, sore throat, vomiting, swelling of the lymph nodes, ulcer at the wound and a skin rash.
Treating a rat bite
If you get bitten by a rat, the first thing you need to do is wash the bite area with soap and warm water. Then you want to dry the bite area and apply an antibiotic ointment and a bandage. Even minor bites can lead to RBF or infections so it may be prudent to see a doctor and get a tetanus shot.
If the bite develops into an infection or RBF, the treatment will consist of an antibiotic regimen that will last up to 10 days. For more severe reactions, the antibiotics may need to be administered intravenously. It’s important to treat RBF because it can cause serious health problems, some of which are life threatening.
Once you’ve taken care of the bite and made sure that you will be healthy, you will have to get rid of the rats. We can help you with that. Contact us today if you have a rat infestation in your home.