If you are bitten or scratched by a wild animal, immediately clean the wound with soap and water and contact your medical professional. One of the best ways to prevent infection after a bite is to thoroughly wash the area with soap and water. If the animal's bite site is infected, there is a chance that the infection could spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. A healthcare provider can help determine if treatments or vaccines, such as those for tetanus or rabies, are needed to prevent infection.
Animal bites, scratches, or other types of exposure, such as contact with an animal's saliva or brain material, could spread the rabies virus to humans. Whether the animal is a family pet (in the case of children, most animal bites reported are from dogs) or a wild creature, scratches and bites can transmit diseases. All animal bites, whether from stray, wild or domestic animals, must be immediately reported to the Division of Disease Control. The Philadelphia Division of Disease Control (DDC) tracks and manages information about animal bites and provides medical recommendations and information to city residents who have suffered an animal bite.