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Infection a big concern following an animal bite

Every year, across the country, millions of people are injured in animal attacks. Following an animal bite, infection is a big concern. New Jersey residents who have fallen victim to animal attacks, even if they first seem minor in nature, should seek medical attention if any signs of infection become present.

If one has been bitten by an animal, prompt treatment is key to preventing infection. Thoroughly cleaning a wound is the best place to start. Bacteria can quickly become trapped under the skin and begin spreading if the injury site is not cleansed properly.

Symptoms of infection do take time to develop. Common symptoms that a wound is infected include swelling, warmth, redness, pain and oozing. Any symptoms that last longer than 24 hours should be evaluated by a medical professional. Signs of a spreading infection such as swollen lymph nodes, fever, red streaks around the wound and the shakes require immediate treatment.

Treating infections caused by animal bites can be pretty simple and straightforward. Usually it requires cleaning of the wound and oral or IV antibiotics. If an infection spreads, though, affecting bone or other parts of the body, treatment can be a little more intense.

An animal bite, whether minor or serious, can have significant consequences for the victim and his or her family. New Jersey residents who have been attacked by domestic animals may have legal recourse. If negligence can be established in court against the animal's owner, compensation for any physical, financial and psychological losses experienced may be awarded.

Source: assh.org, "Animal Bites", Accessed on Feb. 8, 2017

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