Rat Bite Fever Overview
What is rat bite fever?
A person with rat bite fever has a bacterial infection from a rat bite. Rat bite fever is caused by bacteria that are normally present in a rat's mouth. Rat bite fever is very rare.
What are the symptoms of rat bite fever?
Initial symptoms of rat bite fever occur 2-10 days after a rat bite. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, joint pains, and joint swelling. Several days later, additional symptoms of rat bite fever may include worsening joint pains and swelling, as well as a rash that looks like broken blood vessels beneath the skin.
How does the doctor treat rat bite fever?
Treatment for rat bite fever may include wound care for the rat bite, antibiotics, tetanus vaccination, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain and fever.
Continue to Rat Bite Fever Incidence
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Rat-bite fever--New Mexico, 1996. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1998 Feb 13;47(5):89-91. 
- Graves MH, Janda JM. Rat-bite fever (Streptobacillus moniliformis): a potential emerging disease. Int J Infect Dis. 2001;5(3):151-5.