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Article
April 1, 1916

THE ETIOLOGY AND TREATMENT OF RAT-BITE FEVER

Author Affiliations

NEW HAVEN, CONN.

JAMA. 1916;LXVI(14):995-998. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02580400001001
Abstract

Rat-bite fever is an infectious disease following the bite of a rat, or much more rarely, the bite of some animal having contact with rats (weasel, ferret, cat). There is an incubation period of from one to sixty days, averaging about two weeks. This is followed by one or more febrile attacks, accompanied by a characteristic rash. As a rule there are many of these paroxysms, which tend to recur with remarkable regularity, at intervals of from five to ten days. The duration of the individual attack averages from two to three days. The temperature rises gradually, to attain the maximum on the second day, and falls by crisis, with profuse sweating. Severe muscular pains and dysphagia are often prominent symptoms. In the interval between attacks the patient feels almost well.

This is the usual form of the disease. In cases, however, in which there is only one attack, the

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