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Rat-bite Fever

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  • Rat-bite Fever

    Rat bite fever (Streptobacillary fever; Streptobacillosis; Haverhill fever; Epidemic arthritic erythema; Spirillary fever; Sodoku) is an acute, rare disease caused by Streptobacillus moniliformis. In Asia, another bacterium Spirillum minus causes spirillary rat bite fever. Rats can carry these bacteria but generally do not show any signs of illness. 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 feces or urine. Rat bite fever is transmitted to people in around 10% of rat bites. Symptoms of the streptobacillary form include recurrent fever, rash, and arthralgias. The spirillary form causes relapsing fever, rash, and regional lymphadenitis
  • Rat-bite Fever

    The disease is most often seen in Asia, Europe, North America. In America and Europe, rat bite fever is usually due to S. moniliformus, while in Asia it is usually due to S. minus. Many cases of rat bite fever go undiagnosed as it is easily controlled by antibiotic therapy. Rat bite fever can be treated readily with antibiotics (penicillin and tetracyclin), but untreated S. moniliformis infections are estimated to be fatal. Doxycycline and erythromycin can be used as alternative form of treatment. People should be advsied to prevent contamination of water and food by rat excrement. 

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