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Is climate change the reason for the rise in animal bites?

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2023 | Dog Bites

As the weather starts to warm in Georgia, more animals will emerge. Unfortunately, this also increases the risk of bites and visits to the doctor or emergency room. A research study cites climate change as a major reason for these issues.

Climate change and animal bites

Researchers from Stanford University performed a study into the relationship between climate change and the higher risk of animal bites. This includes dog bites as well as those from insects like mosquitoes and ticks as temperatures continue to rise. As the problem persists, animals’ natural habitats begin to shrink and coincide with places taken up by humans. According to the leader of the research study, in recent years, more people have suffered bites from insects; his team states in the study that it expects to see this trend continue with even more people getting bitten.

Along with more bites, people are making more frequent trips to the emergency room or to their own doctors for treatment. The researchers note that this results in healthcare costs amounting to over $1 billion annually. Both children and adults are getting bitten, but the study shows that people in poor, rural areas are most impacted. Dog and cat bites are the most common, but the researchers stated that some bites come from snakes and even monkeys. These are also the animal bites causing the most concern because bacteria can quickly spread.

Self-treating animal bites

Self-treat your wound with clean hands and then apply direct pressure to your wound with a clean cloth. Clean it using warm water and mild soap while rinsing for several minutes.

Gently pat-dry the area and apply antibacterial ointment to the wound; it might help prevent infection. Apply a clean, dry bandage. In some cases such as a deep wound, you might need stitches.

Once you have seen a doctor, carefully follow their instructions for aftercare. Change your bandage a few times daily to keep it clean and dry.