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Bite injuries: Secondary infections, brain injuries and disease


Secondary injuries from bite wounds can be dangerous for patients. Several issues could lead to injuries to the brain, so it’s vital to obtain treatment following a bite and to make sure the owner of the animal is held liable for your injuries.

Bite wounds don’t only affect the initial area of injury. Consider the fact that bacteria and viruses could enter your body at the site of the injury; that bacteria or virus could spread, making you sick. Some kinds of diseases you can suffer from, like rabies, will affect your body and brain, putting your life at risk.

A bite wound infection contains both aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms. While some may be harmless to the human body, others could be very dangerous. The organisms could come from prey of the biting animal, feces or other locations, making them particularly dangerous to humans. Of course, the bacteria may also come from your own skin; most humans do carry staph on the outside of the body, which then can enter if a wound is open on the surface.

Infections can set in with bite wounds. In the case of a trial including 50 dog-bite wounds, 60 percent were punctures, 10 percent were lacerations, and the rest were a combination. Because of that, each wound has the potential to become infected or abscessed. When infected, a majority of the monitored wounds were without abscesses, but they did sometimes have cellulitis or lymphangitis as a result. These wounds required draining for treatment, but failing to do so could lead to further injury, like infections that spread throughout the body and affect the nervous system or brain.

Source: US National Library of Medicine/ National Institutes of Health, “Microbiology of Animal Bite Wound Infections,” Fredrick M. Abrahamian and Ellie J. C. Goldstein, accessed Dec. 31, 2015


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