advertisement
24 December 2015

US teen treated for rare rat-bite fever

A 17-year-old was treated for a rare and serious condition after developing pain in her right hip and lower back that affected her ability to walk after being bitten by her pet rodent.

A US teenager was diagnosed with rat-bite fever after being bitten by her pet rodent, a new report reveals.

The 17-year-old was treated for the rare and serious condition after developing pain in her right hip and lower back that affected her ability to walk, doctors said.

Over two weeks, the teen also experienced pain in her right leg, discomfort in a joint in her pelvis, fever, nausea and vomiting. She also developed a pink rash on her hands and feet, according to the report.

Once doctors learned the teen had several pets, including three pet rats who lived in her bedroom, she had a blood test, which was positive for Streptobacillus moniliformis - the most common cause of rat-bite fever. Left untreated, the disease has a death rate as high as 13 percent, according to the research led by Dr. Carina Brown, an intern/resident in the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville.

After four weeks of antibiotics, the teen made a full recovery. Her rash and fever vanished after five days. Weeks later, she was also free of joint and pelvic pain, according to the report published online December 22 in BMJ Case Reports.

Rat-bite fever is usually transmitted through a bite or scratch from a rodent. Only 200 cases have been reported in the United States since 1839.

Also read:

Baby dies after rat encounter at Indian hospital

Baby awaits surgery after rat attack

The dreaded rat

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Live healthier

Teen angst »

Detecting depression: Phone apps could monitor teen angst

Studies have linked heavy smartphone use with worsening teen mental health. But as teens scroll through Instagram and Snapchat, tap out texts or watch YouTube videos, they also leave digital footprints that might offer clues to their psychological well-being.

Lifestyle changes »

Lifestyle changes helped new dad shed more than 20kg

Erik Minaya started to put on the kilos during his first year year in college. By age 24, he tipped the scale at nearly 120kg. But then he cut out fast food, replacing it with lower-carb offerings that he prepared himself.