Rat-bite fever (RBF) is an infectious disease that can be brought on by two various germs. Streptobacillary RBF is triggered by Streptobacillus moniliformis in North America while spirillary RBF or sodoku is caused by Spirillum minus and takes place mostly in Asia. Individuals typically get the disease from infected rodents or consumption of contaminated food or water. When the latter takes place, the disease is frequently referred to as Haverhill fever. If not treated, RBF can be a major and even fatal disease.
Common Causes of Rat-bite Fever
Rat-bite fever can be triggered by either of 2 various germs, Streptobacillus moniliformis or Spirillum minus. Both of these are discovered in the mouths of rodents.
The disease is most often seen in:
- The United States and Canada
Many people get rat-bite fever through contact with urine or fluids from the mouth, eye, or nose of an infected animal. This most commonly takes place through a bite or scratch. Some cases may take place merely through contact with these fluids.
A rat is usually the source of the infection. Other animals that may cause this infection include:
Transmission of the Fever
There are a number of ways individuals can get RBF. The most typical consist of:
- Bites or scratches from contaminated rodents (such as rats, mice, and gerbils).
- Managing rodents with the disease (even without a bite or scratch).
- Consuming food or drink contaminated with the bacteria.
- RBF is not spread out from someone to another.
Symptoms of Rat-bite Fever
Symptoms are typically different for the 2 kinds of RBF:
- Streptobacillary RBF
- Spirillary RBF
- Streptobacillary RBF Symptoms
- Muscle discomfort
- Joint pain
Symptoms normally take place 3-10 days after direct exposure to an infected rodent, but can be delayed as long as 3 weeks. By this time, any associated bite or scratch wound has actually normally recovered.
Within 2-4 days after fever onset, a maculopapular rash may appear on the hands and feet. This rash is determined by flat, reddened locations with little bumps. One or more joints might then become inflamed, red, or agonizing.
Spirillary RBF (likewise referred to as Sodoku) Symptoms
Symptoms can differ and frequently consist of:
- Fever (that may occur consistently).
- Advancement of an ulcer at the bite wound (when suitable).
- Swelling near the injury.
- Inflamed lymph nodes.
- Rash (takes place following partial recovery of the wound).
These symptoms usually occur 7-21 days after exposure to a contaminated rodent.
The symptoms related to Haverhill fever (RBF you can receive from consuming polluted food or water) can differ from those that take place when you get the disease through bites and/or scratches. The most notable distinctions may consist of more extreme throwing up and sore throat.
Who Is in Danger?
Any person who is exposed to the bacteria that trigger RBF is at risk for getting the disease.
Some people who might be at increased threat consist of those who:
- Live in rat-infested structures.
- Have family pet rats at their home.
- Work with rats in labs or animal stores.
Treatment for Rat-bite Fever
If you have any symptoms of rat-bite fever after direct exposure to rats or other rodents, please instantly call your healthcare supplier. Make certain to inform your supplier of your direct exposure to rodents.
If you have RBF, your medical professional can offer you prescription antibiotics that are extremely effective at curing the disease. Penicillin is the antibiotic frequently utilized. If you dislike penicillin, your doctor can offer you other antibiotics.
Without treatment, RBF can be severe or possibly deadly. Serious illnesses can consist of:
- Infections including the heart (endocarditis, myocarditis, or pericarditis).
- Infections involving the brain (meningitis).
- Infections involving the lungs (pneumonia).
- Abscesses in internal organs.
While death from RBF is rare, it can occur if it goes unattended.
How to Prevent the Fever?
You can protect yourself from RBF by:
- Preventing contact with rodents or locations where rodents might exist.
- Preventing drinking milk or water that may have been available in contact with rodents.
- Drinking pasteurized milk and water from safe sources.
- Picture of handwashing.
If you manage rats or clean their cages:
- Wear protective gloves.
- Practice routine handwashing.
- Avoid touching your mouth with your hands.
In addition to RBF, contact with rodents may lead to other illnesses.