What if you are bitten by a rat?

Rats have large teeth and they can cause painful bites if they feel threatened. Healthy rats will avoid people and they like to be active when a building is quiet. But when cornered, the rat may lunge and bite in order to defend itself. The saliva of some rats may carry diseases like Hantavirus and leptospirosis. In some rare cases, the victims may suffer from rat bite fever. The humans that are bitten by the rodents are normally susceptible to tetanus infection.

The rat bites may be deep or shallow, while others may display a single puncture wound and others show different abrasions. The bleeding may happen often, but the infection takes place in rare cases. The rodent bites have to be cleaned at once and then disinfected. The tetanus immunization should be given to the people who have not received it for some time.

The common symptoms of a rat bite include the redness, pain and swelling that takes place at the location of the bite. If a new bite takes place, then a pus filled and weeping wound may appear. When the rat bite also transmitted the rat bite fever, you may suffer headaches, rash, fever, joint pain, vomiting and muscle aches.

You need to seek immediate attention when the wound looks deep and you are not aware of how serious it may be. If the skin is bleeding and it has been torn, see a doctor. If you are not sure of your risk of contracting rabies, talk to the doctor about the possibility of the rats carrying rabies in your area.

Rabies is a viral disease and it is passed between animals and from animals to humans through the saliva. If the rat bite also transmitted saliva into the wound, you have to check with the doctor if you are safe from rabies.

Go back to the How to Get Rid of Rats page or email us if you have any other questions about What if you are bitten by a rat?