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June 2016

Rat Bite Fever Presenting As Palpable Purpura

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York
  • 2Department of Dermatology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York
  • 3Department of Pathology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York
JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(6):723-724. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.6034

Rat bite fever (RBF) is a rare infectious disease with a nonspecific presentation and potentially fatal complications. We report a case of RBF presenting as palpable purpura.

A female patient in her 50s presented with a 5-day history of fever, chills, diffuse pain, and an eruption. She reported having a pet rat and, while denying any bites or scratches, remarked that the rat often licks her hand, adding that 2 days earlier, she had accidentally cut her index finger.

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