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18 years
What is haverhill fever ? (Or haverhills disease)
Jul 30, 2014

Dr. Rania Mousa General Medicine
Rat-bite fever (RBF) (also known as Haverhill fever) is a rarely diagnosed, systemic illness caused by infection with either Streptobacillus moniliformis or Spirillum minus.

S. moniliformis is commonly found in the nasal and oropharyngeal flora of rats and probably other rodents.Most people get rat-bite fever through contact with urine or secretions from the mouth, eye, or nose of an infected animal. This most commonly occurs though a bite, yet some cases may occur simply through contact with these secretions.

The source of the infection is usually a rat. Other animals that may cause infection include squirrels, weasels, and gerbils.

Person-to-person transmission of infection does not occur
Risk factors for RBF include handling rats at home and in the workplace ( laboratories or pet stores) usually people who keep rats as pets, as well as laboratory technicians and pet shop employees working with rats, are at increased risk.

The symptoms depend on what bacteria has developed the disease
if it is S. moniliformis infection symptoms are:

>>Fever, Rash and Polyarthritis:

Initially there is sudden high fever (38-41°) with rigors, nausea and vomiting, severe headache, sore throat, myalgia(muscle pain) and joint pains.
The fever usually resolves in three to five days but it can recur.
A diffuse rash occurs in most patients.
An asymmetrical migratory polyarthralgia (large and small joints)

if it is the S. minus infection symptoms are:

The rat-bite often ulcerates, and there is marked local lymphadenopathy(enlarged lymph nodes)
The fever is relapsing and remitting.
A typical red-brown macular rash develops in most of people. Plaques and itching lesions may also be present.
Joint involvement is rare.
doctor will after examination do blood tests ,bacterial culture ,PCR,..
f treated, prognosis is excellent and symptoms usually subside in a few days.Arthritis may last for several months

As for treatment ,Penicillin is the first-line therapy.
Tetracycline is an alternative in those who are penicillin-allergic

SO,if is advised to Avoid contact with rats or rat-contaminated dwellings.
and if suspected a rat infection prophylactic antibiotics are given after a rat bite.

Don't worry the outlook is excellent with early treatment,check with a doctor if:

You or your child has had recent contact with a rat or other rodent
The person who was bitten has symptoms of rat-bite fever.