Man Despatched to the ICU After Being Bitten by Bathroom Rat


A Canadian man discovered a rat in his bathroom, and his month solely bought worse from there. In a latest case report, the person’s medical doctors described how he contracted an uncommon and extreme an infection from being bitten by the rodent—one which in the end despatched him to the intensive care unit. Fortunately, he was efficiently handled.

The case was detailed this January within the Canadian Medical Affiliation Journal. In response to the report, the 76-year-old Montreal resident went to a neighborhood emergency division with fever, headache, and stomach ache that had been ongoing for 3 days. Virtually three weeks earlier, he had the misfortune of encountering a rat in his bathroom bowl. When he tried to take away the sewer animal, it bit two of his fingers. The person promptly visited the emergency division, the place his wound was handled and he was given a tetanus booster. Whereas the wound itself was therapeutic high quality by the point of his second ED go to, checks revealed he had developed sepsis—a sort of systemic, life-threatening irritation typically attributable to an infection—and he was admitted to the hospital’s ICU.

Given the chew and his signs, medical doctors suspected that he had both contracted rat chew fever, an infectious illness attributable to a number of micro organism generally discovered within the mouths of rodents, or leptospirosis, attributable to Leptospira micro organism. Each ailments could be handled with the identical medication, so the medical doctors rapidly positioned the person on intravenous antibiotics whereas they waited for additional testing. Finally, he was confirmed to have leptospirosis.

Not everybody contaminated by Leptospira micro organism turns into sick, and the nonspecific signs it may possibly trigger initially, corresponding to fever, chills, and muscle aches, make prognosis troublesome. Generally, individuals can get well from this primary bout of sickness however later expertise a second part the place the an infection severely damages the liver, kidneys, and mind. Extreme leptospirosis can have a mortality charge as excessive as 15%.

What made this case stranger than most is that leptospirosis normally isn’t caught from rat bites. The micro organism isn’t naturally shed in a rodent’s saliva however slightly its urine. So individuals will sometimes catch it from touching urine instantly or being uncovered to meals and water contaminated by contaminated urine (that is one cause why flood-causing storms can spark outbreaks of the illness). As finest because the medical doctors can inform, the person’s an infection may need come from his furry aggressor having briefly contaminated its personal mouth with bacteria-soaked urine earlier than biting him.

Regardless of his severe sickness, the person responded properly to the antibiotics and different remedies. He was discharged from the ICU after three days and accomplished his remaining course of oral antibiotics with no difficulty.

Although the micro organism that trigger leptospirosis is discovered in every single place on the earth, it’s extra typically encountered in tropical areas, and human circumstances are not often reported in Canada or the U.S. Many animal species can catch and doubtlessly unfold leptospirosis to people, nonetheless, together with our pets. And the illness is anticipated to change into extra frequent over time, thanks partly to local weather change elevating the danger of utmost climate occasions like extreme floods.

The case report authors notice that there’s no clear consensus on whether or not to present individuals prophylactic antibiotics after a rat chew. However given proof from some research that antibiotics can forestall leptospirosis in individuals at excessive threat of publicity and the truth that bites can unfold different bacterial infections like rat chew fever, they argue that scientific trials ought to be performed to check this method.

“Though antibiotic preventive remedy after a rat chew stays an unresolved difficulty, rat bites might warrant antibiotic prophylaxis as a result of they recurrently lead to rat-bite fever, and so they create puncture wounds which have a better threat of an infection,” they wrote.