Rabies From a Squirrel
The best way to find out if you’ve been bitten by a squirrel is to observe the animal before it bites you. You can also observe how the animal acts before it bites you so you can report its behavior to medical staff. Hospitals do not have rabies protocols for squirrel bites, so you should only report a possible encounter with a squirrel if you’re certain it acted in a certain way before it bit you.
Getting rabies from a squirrel
Despite the possibility, catching rabies from a squirrel is rare. In fact, only 27 people have contracted the disease in the US since 1990. Rabies is more common in cats and dogs and does not usually infect small rodents. However, if you find a squirrel that looks injured and is motionless, you should visit a medical professional. A rabies diagnosis should be made as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of catching the disease.
Although squirrels are not known to transmit rabies to humans, they can be carriers of the disease. Most of these common carriers avoid squirrels, as they have 180-degree vision and do not associate with people who may have rabies. While there are many other possible ways to contract rabies from a squirrel, rabies treatment in a hospital emergency room is rare and you do not need prophylaxis if the animal bites you.
Humans are very rarely exposed to rabies, but the disease has been linked to bats. There is no direct contact between a human and a squirrel, but rabies can be transmitted through bodily contact. Rabies symptoms include fever, swollen lymph glands, and headache. In severe cases, the disease can progress to death and paralysis. Humans must stay away from infected animals, particularly those suspected of carrying the disease.
To contract the disease, a human must be bitten by an animal that has the virus. Rabies symptoms start to manifest within two weeks. Squirrels with rabies may bite people during seizures. These animals will not sleep in their normal spots or rest on bare cage wire. If you see a sick or injured squirrel, you should seek medical attention. Rabies is almost 100 percent fatal once contracted.
If you have recently been bitten by a squirrel, you should seek medical attention immediately. Rabies can spread from animal to animal, but signs are not always evident until the later stages. Therefore, it is best to keep a safe distance from any animal that you suspect of carrying the disease. If you suspect that you have been bitten, wash the wound immediately with soap. If you have any other symptoms, contact a trained professional to treat the problem.
If you’ve been bitten by a squirrel, you may notice that it is aggressive and confused. It may also have a high temperature or feel weak. If you don’t seek medical attention immediately, the symptoms could progress to insomnia, paralysis, and eventually death. It’s important to get a professional diagnosis of the disease so you can avoid the spread of the disease to others. If you’ve been bitten by a squirrel, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water immediately.
Rabies is a disease of the central nervous system. Rabies is transmitted through saliva, a fluid that is present in the animal’s mouth days before it dies. The disease is not spread through contact with the feces, urine, or blood of infected animals. Rabies can also spread through the air. Fortunately, rabies is not easily transmitted from a squirrel to a human.
In 2003, a guinea pig became rabid after biting its owner in the clavicle. The owner discovered that the animal had been infected with the rabies virus from a raccoon. Since the disease is not always obvious, it is best to euthanize the animal, rather than risk spreading the disease to people. Rabies is also rare in small rodents, such as squirrels, but it is still possible to contract the disease from these animals.
If you discover a bat in your house, you must quickly seek treatment. If you spot it sleeping near your home, you should call your local veterinary clinic to confirm the diagnosis. Besides rabies, you should avoid any wild animal that is not fully vaccinated. Always keep your pet indoors and away from other animals, and never leave pet food or garbage outside. Keep children away from unknown animals and pets.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.