What is Rat-bite Fever? And How do you Cure it?

Is Rat-bite Fever Serious?

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines rat-bite fever as an infectious disease that can be caused by two different bacteria – Streptobacillary RBF, which is commonly found in North America, and spirillary RBF or sodoku which occurs mostly in Asia.

People usually contract the disease from infected rodents, or consuming food or drink that has traces of the bacteria and/or disease. If RBF is not treated, it can become fatal.

Rat-bite fever: Who is at risk?

rat bite feverSimply put, anyone who comes into contact with a rat bite, or consumes bacteria found in RBF (whether that’s in food or drink) is at risk for contracting the disease. There are certain scenarios where some people will be at a greater risk of contracting the disease, such as:

  • People who live in rat-infested buildings
  • Have rats as pests
  • Work with rats in laboratories or pet stores

What are the Rat-bite Fever Symptoms?

rat bite feverThe symptoms of RBF depend on the type of RBF you contract. The two types are Streptobacillary and Spirillary RBF.

Streptobacillary Symptoms

The symptoms of Streptobacillary include:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Rashes

You can expect symptoms to occur around 3-10 days after contraction and/or exposure to the rodent carrying it. There are uncommon cases where the symptoms can be delayed for as long as 3 weeks.

You may experience a maculopapular rash appear on your hands in the first few days (2-4 days). The rash is usually red and accompanied by small bumps. Joints may also become swollen, red or painful.

Spirillary RBF (also known as Sodoku) Symptoms

Sodoku symptoms differ somewhat to the Streptobacillary symptoms. Below are the common symptoms associated with Sodoku:

  • Fever
  • Ulcer present at the bite wound (sometimes, depending on severity)
  • Swelling near the wound
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Rash (occurs following partial healing of the wound)

Symptoms can occur between 1-3 weeks after exposure to an infected rat (or rodent). If you

These symptoms usually occur 7-21 days after exposure to an infected rodent.

Prevention

There are a number of ways to prevent RBF. The most important of which is eliminating rats from your immediate environment. As a trusted pest removal company in Birmingham, we offer exceptional rat removals services.

Our Rat Removal Services

rat bite feverOur rat control service is one of the most sought-after services in Birmingham. Our team have years of experience in the pest control industry and are commonly helping customers remove and eliminate the presence of rats in their properties in the most humane way possible.

If you’d like to know more about rats, why not give our article on the brown rat a read? It’s full of information on how to identify common rats, ways to remove them from your property and why they can become a massive threat to your health and safety if they are not dealt with in an efficient manner.

For more information please contact us on 0330 404 3391 or email us using the enquiry form on our ‘Contact Us’ page.

Protect Yourself from RBF

You can protect yourself from RBF by:

  • Avoiding drinking substances (mainly milk and water) that have come into contact with rats or rodents.
  • Drinking from reliable and safe water sources.
  • Avoiding rodents altogether.

However, we also understand that your job may be to handle rats. Here at AMES, we’re always in contact with rats and other rodents! If this is the case, remember these tips:

  • Wear protective gloves when dealing with rats
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Avoid touching your mouth with your hands

Treating Rat-bite Fever

rat bite feverContracting RBF is not as uncommon as you might assume. However, it is extremely important that if you do think you have contracted it, you contact emergency services as soon as possible. It’s equally important to tell them that you may have contracted RBF, even if it turns out you haven’t.

If you have contracted RBF, you doctor will usually prescribe you antibiotics which are very effective at curing the disease. Penicillin is the most common go-to for RBF treatment. If you happen to be allergic to penicillin, then your doctor will prescribe you with something else.

If you let your RBF go untreated, it can result in serious or even fatal circumstances. Such illnesses may include:

  • Infections involving the heart (endocarditis, myocarditis, or pericarditis)
  • Infections involving the brain (meningitis)
  • Infections involving the lungs (pneumonia)
  • Abscesses in internal organs

Although death from RBF is rare, if it is left untreated, it is possible.

If you’re concerned, contact AMES today

Rat-bite fever isn’t something you can just sweep under the carpet, literally. If you think you may have a rat problem, it is imperative that you call us so that we can assess the situation and eliminate the presence of rats in your property.

If you’d like to know more about rats, why not give our article on the brown rat a read? It’s full of information on how to identify common rats, ways to remove them from your property and why they can become a massive threat to your health and safety if they are not dealt with in an efficient manner.

For more information please contact us on 0330 404 3391 or email us using the enquiry form on our ‘Contact Us’ page. 

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