Rat-bite Fever | Ireland| PDF | PPT| Case Reports | Symptoms | Treatment

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Rat-bite Fever

  • Rat-bite Fever

    Rat-bite fever is an acute, febrile human illness caused by two bacteria Spirillum minus or Streptobacillus moniliformis and transmitted by rodents, rats or mice in most cases. The majority of cases are due to the animal's bite. It can also be transmitted throughout food or water that is contaminated with rat excreta.  Rat bite fever is transmitted to people in around 10% of rat bites. The exact incidence is unknown. Many cases go unreported and underdiagnosed. It is diagnosed by isolating S. moniliformis from blood, synovial fluid, or other body fluids.

  • Rat-bite Fever
    Symptoms of the streptobacillary form include recurrent fever, rash, and polyarthritis. The spirillary form causes relapsing fever, rash, and regional lymphadenitis. Rat-bite fever is treated with antibiotics (penicillin or tetracyclines for 7-14 days). Alternative drugs include ampicillin, cefuroxime, and cefotaxime. Avoid contact with rats, particularly wild rats. People that handle rats or clean their cages should wear protective gloves, wash their hands after contact, and avoid hand-to mouth contact.

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