People who keep rats as pets, laboratory technicians and pet shop employees working with rats, are at increased risk of the disease. The exact incidence of the disease is not clearly known. Rat-bite fever can be treated readily with antibiotics, but untreated S. moniliformis infections are estimated to be fatal. It may cause complications like infection of the brain or soft tissue, infection of the heart valves, inflammation of the salivary glands, the tendons and the heart lining. People that handle rats or clean their cages should wear protective gloves, wash their hands after contact.