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Rat Bite Fever: Fever, Arthritis, and Rash in a 4-Year-Old Boy


  • We would like to acknowledge Dr. George Samadashwily, who generously supplied the photographs.

Address correspondence to Bethany K.H. Lewis, M.D., M.P.H., Department of Dermatology, 4A330 School of Medicine, University of Utah, 30 North 1900 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, or e-mail:


Abstract:  Rat bite fever is a rare but potentially fatal Gram-negative infection that predominantly affects populations with exposure to rats, notably children. The clinical presentation is nonspecific and requires a high threshold of suspicion to elicit a history of rat exposure. We report here a case of a child whose diagnosis was made retrospectively but with good outcome.