Rat fever: Symptoms, cause and treatment

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Representational Image
Representational Image

New Delhi : As the name suggest, rat fever is an illness caused by a bacteria transmitted to human from rodents, rat and mice. The kind of fever is also termed as rat bite fever (RBF). It is said that people who are in close contact to rats, such as lab technicians are at the greatest risk. Also, those who are living in overly crowded conditions and children, as the pet rat industry grows, are also at risk. In this article, we'll discuss the symptoms, cause and treatment of rat fever.

Symptoms of Rat fever

Generally, rat fever is caused by two types of bacteria which cause different symptoms to the patients

  • Streptobacillary

In case of Streptobacillary, thesymptoms are headache, body pain, muscle pain, vomiting sensation, fever and rash which appear after three to ten days of the bite or transmission.

The fever can cause damage to vital organs and can lead to life threatening complications like renal failure, hypotension or hemorrhage. If not diagnosed early and appropriately treated the infection can even lead to the extent of death.

  • Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis rat fever is a serious infection which spreads all over the body through skin or through oral consumption of items contaminated by rats.

In case of spirillary rat bite is identified by symptoms like repetitive fever, formation of ulcer at the site of the rat bite, swelling, swelling of the lymph nodes and rashes in the body other than the bite site. Symptoms normally appear after one to three weeks of bite or transmission of the infection into the body.

Cause of Rat fever

Rat fever is caused by bacteria which gets transmitted by their bites or through any cut or wound in the human body. The bacteria spread through their urine and mucous secretions. The disease can spread to humans through pet animals infected by rat bite also. The bacteria can be transmitted by bite and handling of the rodents infected. However, the disease does not spread from human to human.

Humans are affected to rat fever by getting into contact of water, wet soil or vegetation contaminated by the urine of rats, mice or rodents that are infected. Humans are mostly affected by black rat and brown rat while infection from any type of rat is possible.

Treatment of Rat fever

The case of Rat fever was first noticed in India about 2300 years ago. It can get cured without any treatment. Since prolonged fever can cause severe damage to other organs of the body including the linings of the heart, therefore treatment must be given on urgent basis. It is treated with antibiotics only for quick cure. It is known to all that prevention is better than cure. Therefore, rat bite fever can be only by avoiding contact with rats, mice and rodents and their dwellings.