Just as one may receive a bite from an animal, one can also be bitten by a human. After dog and cat bites, human bites are the next most common bites seen in emergency rooms. Human bites can often lead to infection because of the amount of bacteria and viruses in a human mouth. Human bite wounds cause about one-third of all hand infections. Also, in sexual assault and in attempted suicide, it may be found in the victim. It may occur in assaults, during sport events and may sometimes be intentionally self-inflicted. People with high risk for human bite include those confined to institutions, such as prisons and psychiatric hospitals, staff of such institutions, law enforcement agents and people who patronise bars.
It’s not every day that you hear of a human being bitten by another. But Uruguayan soccer player Luis Suárez once showed the world that even full-grown men and women occasionally bite other people. During a match with Italy, Suárez appeared to chomp the shoulder of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini. The biting teeth are usually the six front teeth, namely the central incisors, lateral incisors and the cuspids. A human bite injury is elliptical or circular in shape and records the specific characteristics of the inflicting teeth called tooth class characteristics which are features, characteristics, or patterns that distinguish a bite mark from other patterned injuries.
Bites also involve children or drunk people. But these injuries are no laughing matter, as bite wounds can be very serious, even deadly. Here are five diseases than can be spread from bites:
Infections… Human mouths contain high levels of bacteria, especially of the variety that can infect human tissues. More than half of the infections contained Streptococcus anginosus, a bacterium in the same genus as that which causes strep throat. Nearly a third involved Staphylococcus aureus, the cause of most Staph infections.
Hepatitis B and C… Both of these viruses, but especially Hep B, can come from a bite. Both affect the liver, and this suggests that anybody who is bitten should be tested for Hepatitis B.
HIV… It is technically possible for somebody to acquire the Human Immunodeficiency Virus by biting or being bitten.
Herpes…. One can get herpes from a bite.
Rabies… This may seem like the obvious one. However, though “human-to-human transmission by bite is theoretically possible.
Treatments in Children: Remain calm and reassure your child that you can help. Treatment may include: If the bite is bleeding, apply pressure to it with a clean bandage or towel to stop the bleeding, wash the wound with soap and water under pressure for at least five minutes, but do not scrub, as this may bruise the tissue, in some cases surgical interventions may be needed. Faster wound healing and better scarring result from clean, surgically created wound margins. If the child has received a bite, wash the hands with antibacterial soap before tending to the bite.
Treatments in Adults: Meticulous wound care is the cornerstone of human bite wound management. Copious irrigation decreases the incidence of wound infection. Use of sodium chloride solution, dilute povidone-iodine (Betadine), or dilute hydrogen peroxide to thoroughly cleanse the wound. Cleansing is best performed with a 10-mL syringe with an 18-gauge catheter. Take care to avoid injection of the tissues and to prevent additional trauma. Careful debridement of devitalized tissue, particulate matter, and clot is also necessary to reduce the infection risk and to improve the cosmetic result. If possible, wear clean medical gloves to reduce the risk of transmitting any bacteria into the wound. If the wound is mild and there’s no blood, wash it with soap and water. Avoid scrubbing the wound. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe a round of antibiotic therapy to fight bacterial infection. In severe cases, your doctor may administer antibiotics through a vein. Certain wounds may require stitches, such as those on the face, and surgery may be necessary if there’s damage to a tendon or joint.
Prevention in children: Parents can help prevent these behaviours by teaching children not to bite. If the child bites, calmly tell them, in simple words at their level, that violent behaviour is unacceptable.
Prevention in Adults: Efforts should be made to reduce cases of assaults, abuses, disagreements and drunkeness as much as possible.
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