Can a rat attack a person?

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Rats are fairly large rodents, the sight of which often evokes fear and disgust. These pests are found everywhere, especially in large cities and agricultural areas. A gray rat can look intimidating and weigh up to 500 grams, so the question of whether a rodent is capable of attacking a person has a clear answer: “Yes!” However, it is important to understand that not every encounter with these rodents ends in bites.

Rats are the most common type of rodent, easily adapting to different living conditions. They are often found near a person, where there is always access to food. Rats can appear in apartments, country houses, and private homes, causing enormous damage to households and property, as well as carrying dangerous diseases. In some cases, these pests can attack humans, causing bites of varying severity.

Why do rats attack people?

The manifestation of aggression in rodents is observed in cases where the animals are in danger or they find themselves in a tight corner. Sometimes it happens that even people who do not pose a threat to rodents are attacked by warm-blooded parasites. The category of people most vulnerable to rats includes:

— People living in disadvantaged poor areas;
— People without a fixed place of residence;
— People with chronic diseases, physical or mental developmental disabilities;
— Children under 5 years of age.

Rat bites usually occur during a person's sleep, when he is unconscious. Attacks occur because this type of rodent is predatory and needs animal protein for full development, and a sleeping person in this case looks like an attractive victim to get the necessary protein.

In what case can a rat bite a person?

Gray basement dwellers bite in several cases:

1. Fear. If an animal is protecting its offspring or its own life, it will fight to the end. This behavior is often associated with the saying of a cornered rat, which a person may encounter while attempting to remove it from a trap or destroy a nest.

2. Severe hunger. In a state of hunger, a rodent can neglect the instinct of self-preservation, trying to find food for itself by any means. This may result in him attempting to enter an area or building without paying attention to the potential threat.

3. Illness. Rodents not only carry rabies, but they themselves can become ill with this dangerous disease. The virus destroys the central nervous system, leading to a loss of self-preservation and caution. An infected animal becomes extremely aggressive, so meeting a sick rodent requires special caution.

To avoid an attack, it is recommended not to approach the rat and it is better to let it go away, and then call the pest control service. If a rat does bite, you should wash the wound, cover it with a clean bandage and immediately consult a doctor. Despite the fact that pests rarely attack people, more than 600 such cases are recorded annually in Moscow alone. In defense, rodents also often bite domestic animals such as dogs and cats.

Why is a rat bite dangerous?

Victims of rodent attacks rarely experience severe complications. However, some people may develop dangerous infectious and viral diseases due to the fact that rats are carriers of various pathogenic bacteria, viruses and parasitic insects. Some of the most common diseases that can be contracted from rats include:

1. Salmonellosis, which can occur due to ingestion of contaminated food or water, especially in areas where rats live near food storage.
2. Hemorrhagic fever, characterized by high mortality, but existing treatment methods can effectively combat this bacterial disease.
3. Encephalitis, leading to damage to the membranes of the brain and spinal cord.
4. Tetanus, a dangerous virus that can lead to serious complications such as cardiac paralysis, pneumonia and sepsis.
5. Leptospirosis, which is often transmitted through rat bites and can cause serious liver and kidney problems, as well as blood infections.
6. Rodents are also distributors of dangerous viruses, including arenaviruses, which can cause the development of lymphocytic choriomeningitis.

You can reduce the likelihood of infection with dangerous viruses or bacteria by timely and proper treatment of the bite site. After contact with a rodent, you should immediately wash the wound with clean water and soap and disinfect it with hydrogen peroxide or an alcohol solution. According to statistics, in 30% of cases after treating a wound, pathogenic staphylococcus bacteria did not manifest themselves as pathogenic flora.

Rat Bite Fever - Everything You Need To Know - Dr. Nabil Ebraheim

Can rats eat humans?

Stories about rats hunting people in an organized manner are found only in horror films and children's horror stories. There are no documented cases of such behavior where rats actively attack people in a pack. Rats can sometimes eat human flesh, but this is due to hunger rather than a preference for human flesh. For rats, it doesn't matter what they eat: humans, bread, other rodents, small animals, snails or worms. Stories about gnawed corpses of people found in landfills most often belong to the realm of folklore. However, it happens that rats can gnaw on the corpses of unfortunate people found on the street or in a landfill, or start a meal when the person was still alive, but could no longer defend himself.

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