Do Rats Carry Rabies?

Rats are the most popular species of rodents. Rodents are the most common mammals being 40% in a population of total mammals. Rats can adjust quickly with their surroundings due to which rats are found in all the continents around the world except Antarctica. These long-tailed, medium-sized rodents can easily sneak in your house through the tiniest gaps and holes which poses a dangerous threat to humans. The greatest risk of a rat in your house or near you is being bitten by it. 

Rat Bites

Being bit by a rat has various health hazards. A rat can carry certain diseases which can be dangerous for us if left untreated.  The greatest concern regarding diseases that rats can carry is definitely whether a rat bite can give you rabies?

Rabies and rats

Rabies is a virus that is spread to humans by the saliva of infected animals. It usually transfers to humans by the infected animals bite. Humans can get affected by the virus if:

  • A violent animal bites them
  • The maniac animal licks a wound
  • They have been scratched by claws covered with the saliva of a rabid animal

Rabies cannot be transferred through blood or urine. The virus can make its way up to the brain which can result in an unfortunate incident. Annually 55 thousand people die due to rabies which makes it a great health concern. The question that whether rats give out rabies is, therefore, very necessary to be answered. 

Rats as carriers

According to the CDC (center for disease control) rats have not been found to transmit or carry rabies. There have been very rare cases of rabies through wild rats, although the main carriers were other animals such as raccoons, rodents, bats, skunks, etc. Rats are therefore safe from rabies and cannot transfer rabies to humans. A relief news is that it is not necessary to get injected for rabies every time a rat bite you.

Dry bite 

Even if somehow rat does get bit by a dangerous animal, it is believed that the rat would still not transfer rabies. This is because a phenomenon is known as a dry bite. The first positioning of the rats mouth prevents the teeth from getting wet which results in a dry bite. And since the saliva of a rabid animal causes rabies, you are still safe of rabies from a rat.

Final word

The good news of being bit by a rat is that you will be safe from rabies and will not have to worry about getting rabies if you ever, unfortunately, got bit by a rat. But keep in mind that a rats bite can have many other diseases which need to be taken care of immediately. It is best if you take safety measures and prevent a rat bite instead.


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