If someone in your family has been bitten by a dog in New Jersey, you will be worried about rabies. Being a highly dangerous complication from dog bites, the possibility of rabies must be investigated. Be aware of the prevention, symptoms, and treatment of this infection.
Could Your Dog Be Carrying Rabies?
Many people associate rabies only with feral or “rabid” animals, so pet owners may feel confident that their domesticated pet isn’t carrying the rabies virus. The truth is that any warm-blooded animal – even house dogs – can carry rabies. The only way to prevent your pet from contracting this virus is to keep its anti-rabies vaccine up-to-date. Talk to your veterinarian about this aspect of your pet’s health.
If the dog bite came from an unfamiliar animal whose immunization history you don’t know, seek a doctor immediately for an anti-rabies response for the human victim.
How Can Rabies Be Prevented In Humans?
Apart from avoiding contact with an animal’s mouth, the only means of preventing rabies contraction in humans is pre-exposure immunization. This means you should get up-to-date anti-rabies shots before you get bitten. If you get a dog bite without proper immunization, you must see a doctor right away as you will need a series of injections to prevent any infection from setting in.
How Likely Is It To Get Infected With Rabies From A Dog Bite?
Several factors affect a person’s chances of contracting rabies. One is of course the person’s immunization. Another is the severity of the bite – the bigger or deeper the wound, the higher the chances of virus transmission.
The site of the bite also matters greatly. The virus may incubate faster if the wound is on the head, neck, or on any “highly innervated” areas of the body such as the fingers.
What Are The Symptoms Of Rabies Infection In Humans?
If you notice ANY of these symptoms after a dog bite, don’t delay going to a doctor:
- Irritability or aggressiveness;
- Excessive movements or agitation;
- Hallucinations; or
- Extreme sensitivity to bright lights, sounds, or touch.
How Is Rabies Treated In Humans?
Currently, there is no effective cure for a rabies infection that has set in. This is why it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately after a dog bite. Your doctor will try to prevent the virus infection by giving you anti-rabies shots such as:
- Rabies immune globulin – Fast-acting protection usually injected near the bite site
- Rabies vaccine – Given as a series of four doses, on days 0, 3, 7, and 14. Note that the vaccine doesn’t kill the virus directly but only lets your body’s immune system recognize the virus to fight it.
What Happens If Rabies Is Untreated In Humans?
Rabies targets the central nervous system including the brain itself. If a human dog bite victim does not get treatment after the attack, the injury will likely be fatal within a few days. Once the virus spreads in the human body, particularly to the brain, it is too late for any medical treatment to help.
How Much Does Rabies Treatment Cost in New Jersey?
In the US, the price of post-exposure rabies shots varies widely per hospital, usually ranging between $3,000 and $10,000. However, there have been many cases when patients were billed tens of thousands of dollars, including a Glen Ridge, NJ case just this February with a $24,000 hospital bill. Further, not all health insurance policies may cover the expense of a post-exposure treatment.
Seriously Injured As a Result of a NJ Dog Bite? Contact Us
One option to recover your medical expenses is by pursuing compensation from the negligent pet owner or handler who allowed your dog bite. Owners are strictly liable for dog bites, leaving little legal room to escape responsibility. To determine whether you have a claim, talk to us at The Grossman Law Firm by calling (732) 625-9494. We have helped numerous NJ residents obtain the compensation they deserved after getting injured due to someone else’s fault.