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Medical Horror Stories

73. Rat Bite Fever

When I was on pediatric infectious disease, we had a young girl come in with a rash on the bottom of her feet. She was also having headaches and joint pains. We spent close to an hour interviewing the girl and the mother.

Her history didn’t reveal much. Finally, as a last-ditch effort, I pulled out the weird questions you ask in med school. I asked if they had any unusual pets, as we had already ruled out normal pets.

They said actually they did just return a pet rat for biting her. They thought that this wasn’t really relevant. Bam! It was rat bite fever!



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