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ATLANTA, GA, September 17, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Thanks to widespread pet vaccinations and post-exposure treatment, the number of human deaths in the United States caused by rabies has declined drastically. However, in order to get treatment, you have to know that you have been exposed.
Atlanta wildlife removal experts, Urban Wildlife Control, explain how to protect your family.
Animals Most Likely to Have Rabies
Since 1960, rabies has been more frequently reported in wild animals than domestic ones in the U.S. Although dog bites are a common cause of rabies in developing countries, there have been no reports of rabies caused by dog bites in America for a number of years. The most likely animals to have rabies in this country are raccoons, skunks, bats, foxes and coyotes.
Some animals may display symptoms that appear to be rabies, but are not infected. Squirrels sometimes get a fatal roundworm brain parasite, which causes rabies-like signs. Opossums rarely get rabies. However, they display behavior like hissing, drooling and swaying to frighten predators which convinces people they are rabid.
The Spread and Symptoms of Rabies
A person is more likely to get rabies from infected saliva that has gotten into the air and entered broken skin than from an animal bite. That is why it is important to recognize the symptoms, since you may not realize you have been exposed. The average incubation period for the virus is three to seven weeks.
Once the virus enters the body, it travels to the brain, where it causes inflammation, which leads to symptomatic behavior. Some are easy to spot, like drooling, convulsions, loss of muscle function, numbness and muscle spasms. Others are more innocuous, like agitation and low-grade fever.
Immediate Medical Treatment is Essential
The important thing is to get medical treatment if you come into contact with a wild animal that could be carrying the disease. If you have been bitten, scrub the wound immediately and aggressively with soap and water, using antiseptic soap if possible. Flush the wound thoroughly with water. Then go to your doctor or an emergency room immediately.
Timely treatment after a bite or other exposure is 100 percent effective. The very few people who die from rabies are those who do not get treated right away. No one in the U.S. has developed rabies when given the vaccine promptly and appropriately. Once the symptoms appear, however, the person rarely survives the disease, even with treatment. Death from respiratory failure usually occurs within a week after symptoms start.
A Word about Bats
The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cautions that bats can pose a particular danger, especially to children, if they get in your home. Bat teeth are tiny and their bite marks are easily overlooked. If you find a bat in a room where someone was sleeping or where children might have had contact with them, you should assume they have been bitten and get them vaccinated immediately. If possible, the animal should be captured and tested for rabies. Leave this task to Atlanta wildlife control professionals.
Richard Wallas, President of Urban Wildlife, leaders in wild animal removal in Atlanta, states, "If you see a bat, raccoon, skunk, or any wild animal that could be infected with rabies in your home, do not touch or try to capture it yourself. It is essential that you let our Atlanta animal removal professionals capture the animal."
For more information on Urban Wildlife Control's services, visit http://www.urbanwildlifecontrol.com/.
About Urban Wildlife Control:
Urban Wildlife Control is an Atlanta-based, full-service animal and bee removal company. We are committed to providing excellent customer service and maintaining safety for you and your home.
For more information, visit http://www.urbanwildlifecontrol.com/.
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