A Disease Called Rat Bite Fever Is Spreading Around The U.S.

Matt Lillywhite

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning about Rat Bite Fever, a deadly disease caused by the Streptobacillus Moniliformis bacterium.

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Health authorities want to inform residents about a deadly strain of bacteria being spread by rodents around the United States. Without medical treatment, the fatality rate can be as high as 13%.

Here Are The Facts You Need To Know.

It's called Streptobacillus Moniliformis and causes a disease called Rate Bite Fever (RBF). According to the CDC, "any person who comes into contact with the bacteria that cause RBF is at risk for becoming sick with the disease. Without early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, RBF can cause severe disease and death."

In most people, symptoms will typically appear 3 to 10 days after coming into contact with the bacteria that causes RBF. They normally include fever, joint pain, vomiting, headache, muscle pain, and a rash. But if the disease gets worse, pneumonia, liver infection, and meningitis are just several of the complications that might occur.

How To Reduce The Probability Of Severe Illness Or Death.

According to scientific studies, "rat bite fever historically has affected laboratory technicians and the poor. As rats have become popular as pets, this has changed such that children now account for over 50% of the cases in the United States, followed by laboratory personnel and pet shop employees."

So whenever you're handling pets or wild animals, it's important to wear protective clothing to reduce the chance of being injured. But if you ever get bitten or scratched, it's important to disinfect the wound by cleaning it with soap and water. Then, visit your local healthcare provider and tell them about your encounter with a rodent.

A doctor can diagnose RBF by taking a sample of blood or tissue for testing. Typically, the results will come back in a couple of days. But without prompt medical treatment, RBF can (and often will) cause severe illness or death. So even if you think everything is fine, it's still worth talking to your doctor immediately.

Are you concerned about emerging diseases in the United States? Leave a comment with your thoughts. And if you think more people should read this article, share it on social media.

This article is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered health advice. Therefore, please consult a doctor before making any significant medical decisions.

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