The sheer terror of being bitten by a dog in Illinois is bad enough, and some incidents end in serious injury or death for those who are bitten. While the initial trauma is where most of the focus goes, the truth is that the aftereffects of the bite can be just as dangerous as the bite itself. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are over 60 kinds of bacteria in dog mouths and almost 20% of dog bites become infected.

Rabies is the disease that most people think of and is the most serious of them all. It is rare to get rabies from a dog in the United States because most have been immunized against it, but it is still a concern. The rabies virus affects the brain and once it appears it is often fatal. The virus is spread through the saliva and bite of the infected animal, and those who have been bitten should speak to their doctor about a rabies shot.

MRSA is resistant to antibiotics and is a type of staph infection. Animals can carry the bacteria without showing any signs of a problem. The bacteria can cause urinary tract, lung and skin infections in people. If MRSA spreads to the lungs or bloodstream it can quickly become a life-threatening situation.

Pasteurella is also a bacterium that is present in over 50% of infected bite wounds. It causes a red, painful infection around the bite and can be harder on those with a weakened immune system. Humans may also notice swelling in the joints, swollen glands and difficulty moving when they have Pasteurella.

Any time someone is bitten by a dog, they should be checked out by a healthcare professional. If the owner was negligent in leaving the dog out, you may also have a case for a personal injury claim.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.