Woman in Critical Condition for Rat Bite Fever Gotten from Kissing Pet Rat

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The Medical Journal of Australia published an article on Monday regarding rat kissing.  The article tells a story of a 26-year-old woman from Adelaide, who was hospitalized a year ago because of a pounding headache.

She gained respiratory pain and some rashes on her palms, soles of her feet and limbs. While doctors are examining her condition, they discovered that the woman is taking care of two rats, which she often kisses and cuddles.

She want sent to the intensive care unit and was treated in the hospital for around 17 days until she has recovered from the illness.

Dr. Lito Papanicolas, who wrote the story, along with co-authors said what happened to the woman served as a warning that the disease earned from rats could become typical while more homes are accepting rodent pets.

The illness is specifically names as the "rat bite fever." It can be acquired from a rat bite according to the authors. Apart from the bite, it could also be taken from the saliva or excreta of rats and other kinds of rodents like guinea pigs. Hugging and kissing can easily transfer a rodent's saliva to humans.

In recent years, people who got the same kind of disease are mostly owners of pet rats, pet shop employees, and laboratory workers.

In the case of the woman's experience, a bite is not the reason for the infection. Close contact from hugging and kissing obviously is what triggers the disease.

The growing number of households accepting pet rodents will likely increase the risk of infection. More cases of the rat bite fever or S. moniliformis will perhaps affect more household members.