A 17-year-old teenage girl has developed the rare rat bite fever after she was bitten by one of her pet rodents. She had three rats living in her bedroom. The victim had to be rushed to the hospital three weeks after one of her pets died. It was confirmed by doctors that she has acquired the potentially fatal infection. The girl developed rat bite fever symptoms such as pink rashes on hands and feet, nausea and vomiting and pain in lower back and right hip.

As per BMJ Case Reports, an online medical journal, the teenager, whose name has not been revealed, was left immobile, reports a press release by EurekAlert!.

After initial treatment her nausea and vomiting had improved, but her fevers persisted. She also noticed a pink rash on her hands and feet. She then developed severe pain localised in the right hip and low back, leading to immobility, the report said.

The girl was under rat bite fever treatment and fortunately, she has made full recovery after four weeks, reports Mirror. Rat bite fever has a mortality rate of up to 13 per cent, if left untreated. As per the report, the girl does not have a medical history nor did any of her family members ever develop such symptoms in the past. Three weeks before the rat bite fever symptoms came to notice, one of the girl’s pet rats had died. After the onset of the symptoms, the girl suffered intermittent fevers over the next 48 hours, every 12-14 hours.

“Our patient was treated with 4 weeks of intravenous ceftriaxone. After 5 days of antibiotics, her rash and fever resolved completely. Her right SI joint pain improved over the next 2 weeks and resolved completely after 4 weeks,” doctors at the hospital said.

Read UK finds deadly bacteria with MCR-1 gene resistant to ‘last resort’ antibiotic.

Apart from the three rodents, the teenager also had numerous other pets including a cat, a dog and a horse, reports Independent. The rat bite fever diagnosis was done after tests revealed tenderness to sacroiliac (SI) joint palpation and pain with adduction and abduction of the right leg. The skin rashes became more prominent with the fever. Blood tests showed she was infected with streptobacillus moniliformis. It’s the most common cause of rat bite fever.

Only 200 cases of rat bite fever have been recorded in the US since 1839. Originally branded as a disease of the poor, rat bite fever dates back 2,300 years. It is commonly spread through a bite, scratch or a nip from a rodent. However, there have been cases where the rat bite fever infection spread without direct bacterial inoculation.

Contact the writer of this story at feedback@ibtimes.com.au or let us know what you think below.