Though you may have seen portrayals of rabies in the media, it may not be a disease that you ever expect to contract yourself. It is true that rabies infections among humans are uncommon in the United States, but if you are bitten by a strange dog, it is still important that you take all of the necessary health precautions to avoid becoming infected with rabies or another disease.
What is Rabies and How Does it Spread?
Rabies is a virus that uniquely affects mammals and is primarily spread through the saliva of an animal that has been infected. In the United States, rabies is carried mostly by wild animals including foxes, raccoons, skunks, and bats, but it can also be spread by a dog that has not received a rabies vaccination and has been in contact with wild animals. If you are infected with rabies, it can progress through your nervous system and severely impact your brain activity, resulting in confusion, hallucinations, fear of water, other unusual behavior, and death. Early treatment is crucial to stop the spread and prevent the more serious effects from taking hold.
What Should I Do If I Have Been Bitten?
If you have been bitten by a dog, whether or not you believe it may be rabid, you should clean your wounds as much as possible and seek immediate medical attention. Your doctor can not only care for your injuries, but can also administer treatment in the form of postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), which can eliminate the rabies virus before it has the chance to travel throughout your body. Additionally, your doctor can determine whether you may be at risk for other common dog bite infections, including pasteurella, tetanus, and MRSA or staph infections.
If you can identify the dog’s owner, either on your own or with the assistance of an attorney, you can pursue compensation from him or her for your damages. This includes all of your medical expenses related to your injuries, including the cost of the PEP preventive treatment, as well as lost income if you have to miss work, and pain and suffering if your injuries negatively impact your life.
Contact an Illinois Dog Bite Attorney Today
Hiring an experienced DuPage County dog bite lawyer gives you the best chance of holding the dog’s owner accountable for your damages. At Mevorah Law Offices, LLC, we are committed to helping bite injury victims obtain full compensation. Contact us today at 630-552-6850 to request a free consultation.