Bats are scary, ugly creatures that live in almost all parts of the world. They are nocturnal mammals, which means they sleep during the day, and that is why they are commonly seen during nighttime hours. This is also the reason most bat bites occur at night when it is dark outside. If you get bit by a bat, there is a chance that you might contract rabies from the bat. Because of this, here are the steps you should take if this happens to you.
Wash the Bite
Before you do anything else, you should immediately run to a nearby sink and begin washing the bite. This will not stop you from getting rabies (if the bat was rabid), but it will help you clean the area where the bite took place.
As you wash this part of your body, make sure you use soap and warm water, and keep cleaning the area for at least 10 minutes. You may also want to apply an antiseptic iodine solution to the wound to help kill any bacteria on the surface of the skin. After you do this, make a call to a nearby medical center.
Call For Help
It's hard to know if the bat that bit you had rabies or not, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Because of this, medical professionals will automatically treat you for rabies, but it's better if you call and let them know you are coming. You can get treatment for this at a hospital, or you can go to an urgent care center such as 24 Hour Urgent Care of the Desert. Whichever one is closer is probably the better option for you.
Rabies is a dangerous virus to contract, and you can get it from many types of animals. Any animal that has rabies can pass it to humans simply by biting them. If you contract rabies, the disease will attack your central nervous system, and you will most likely end up dead if you do not seek treatment right away.
Drive There Quickly
When you arrive at the medical center, they will be expecting you, and they may be ready to treat your wound. There are several things a doctor may do for this problem, and this often includes:
- Injecting human rabies immune globulin (HRIG) – this is a one-time injection used only when a person has never received this before. If you have had this injection in the past, the doctor will not need to give you it again. When the doctor gives you this injection, he or she will do it near the area where the bite took place. HRIG helps by stopping the rabies virus from entering into the nervous system.
- Injecting anti-rabies prophylaxis – the doctor will need to give you a series of injections to stop the rabies from harming your body. These injections will generally begin the day you first come in, but you may have to return to have more injections over the course of the next few weeks or months.
If you are told to return to have further shots, make sure you follow through with this. The shots are for your protection, safety, and health.
Rabies is not a common disease for people in the U.S.; however, bats are responsible for the majority of rabies cases in people in this country. If you get bit by a bat, do not hesitate in getting help. If you wait to get treatment and the bat had rabies, the doctors may not be able to stop the disease from taking over your body. You can get treatment for rabies at most urgent care centers, and this treatment could save your life.