Rat-bite fever is a rare disease that comes from a rodent’s urine or mucous secretions. It is caused by bacteria, which come from two specific types. It is an acute, febrile illness that can affect humans easily. It has many other names that are listed below:
- Streptobacillary fever
- Spirially fever
- Epidemic arthritic erythema
This disease is not to be confused with similarly-named rat fever or with leptospirosis, since these are different diseases altogether. Most humans get infected by the infected animal’s bite, and most of the recorded cases come from Japan. However, there are other cases reported from the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia due to some specific strains residing there.
The disease can also spread through food and water that is contaminated with rat feces and urine and can infect other animals such as weasels, gerbils, squirrels, house cats, and house dogs. Currently, there is no form of vaccine for this kind of disease.
The easiest way for preventing the spread of this disease is to avoid areas where infected rodents may live, and proper sanitation of one’s self by washing hands and face after coming in contact. If a person has been scratched by rodents, the scratches must be cleaned and should be applied with antiseptics.
Furthermore, people should avoid handling rodents, dead or alive, to avoid spreading the illness to others. Pets are also susceptible to transmitting the disease via contact, so it is advised to keep them out of the rodent’s reach, and for them not to eat the rodents.