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Rat-bite fever is one of two bacterial infections passed through the urine and mucous of certain rodents to humans, including rodents kept as pets. It is usually contracted when a rodent bite breaks the skin rather than through casual contact.
The symptoms usually start with inflammation around the site of the bite, which often turns into a rash. That is usually followed by chills, fever, vomitting, headache and muscle aches.As the symptoms are prosaic, the diagnosis is usually confirmed by growing the bacteria in blood culture.
When bitten by or scratched by a rodent, washing with soap and water and antiseptics should be applied. However, infections are rare, even in the developing world. The condition can be treated with antibiotics but will almost always resolve itself, although it can take up to twelve months to do so.