archderm.jamanetwork.comRats will bite or scratch if frightened or handled, so leave them alone. If you do get bitten by a rat, the main concern is developing an infection.
What happens if you get rat bite fever?
Before antibiotics were used, many cases resulted in death. If left untreated, streptobacillary rat-bite fever can result in infection in the lining of the heart, covering over the spinal cord and brain, or in the lungs. Any tissue or organ throughout the body may develop an abscess.
What is the treatment for rat bite fever?
The doctor will prescribe antibiotics for both types of fever, which usually include: Patients with severe forms of rat-bite fever that affect the heart could get high-dose penicillin and either streptomycin or gentamicin. 6 Remember, infection is the major concern with any animal bite, particularly from rats.
What should I do after a rat bite?
If you are not the victim, practice universal precautions and wear personal protective equipment if available. Care should always be taken to contain any rodent after a bite to determine if the animal has an infection. Always consult your doctor after a rat bite. You may need a tetanus immunization or you may need stitches.
What do you need to know about rat bites?
As the bite heals, keep an eye out for any signs of rat-bite fever or infection, such as: If you do develop rat-bite fever or an infection, you’ll need antibiotics. You’ll need to take the antibiotic for 7 to 10 days. For more severe bites, you may need intravenous antibiotics. Remember!
How do you get rat bite fever?
You can, obviously, get rat bite fever by cuddling up with rats, but you can also get the illness by eating food or drinking water that’s been contaminated with the droppings or urine of rats carrying one of these bacteria. Symptoms of rat bite fever include vomiting, fever, muscle pain, headache, swelling or joint pain, and rash.
What happens if you get bitten by a rat?
If you do get bitten by a rat, the main concern is developing an infection. One such infection is known as rat-bite fever (RBF), which can be transmitted either through an infected rat’s bite or scratch or by simply handling a rat with the disease.
What are the symptoms of a rat bite fever?
Rash on the hands and feet, usually accompanied by one or more swollen joints. This rash usually appears two to four days after the fever. Symptoms of rat-bite fever usually appear three to 10 days after the exposure or a bite but may occur up to three weeks later.
How long does it take for rat bite fever to appear?
Symptoms of rat-bite fever usually appear three to 10 days after the exposure or a bite but may occur up to three weeks later. In most cases, the actual bite or scratch wound is healed by the time the fever starts. Symptoms of spirillum RBF usually come on one to three weeks after being exposed to an infected rodent.