Rat bite almost kills man

A man from Leicester is lucky to be alive after catching a rare disease when he was bitten on the hand by a rat.

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Rat bite fever victim 'really lucky' to have survived

A man struck down with the rare 'rat bite fever' has told how lucky he feels to have survived after reaching phase four of the infection.

Vomiting, headaches and a rash form the early stages of the disease - officially known as Streptobacillus moniliformis - followed by pains in the wrists, hands and other joints. Chris Hammond had reached that stage before doctors realised what was making him ill.

If they hadn't caught it when they did, it could have gone on to cause organ failure - and potentially even death.

Worldwide, the disease proves fatal for one in four people who contract it.

Pet rat Dotty bit man as he fed her through cage bars

A man who nearly died after contracting a rare infection from a rat bite said he had been feeding and stroking the pet rat before it attacked.

Chris Hammond was diagnosed with a potentially lethal infection after being bitten by his friend's pet rat Credit: ITV Central

Chris Hammond was even tested for meningitis as his condition initially baffled doctors.

It was not until about a week later they diagnosed him with Streptobacillus moniliformis, or rat bite fever.

The culprit: Dotty the rat Credit: ITV Central


Man survives potentially fatal rat bite

Stock photo of pet rat similar to one that bit Chris Hammond from Leicester Credit: PA

A man from Leicester is lucky to be alive after catching a rare disease when he was bitten by a rat.

Chris Hammond, who's from South Wigston, was feeding his friend's pet when it bit him on the hand.

Days later he developed streptobacillosis, known as rat bite fever, which can attack the internal organs. It's caused when bacteria in a rat's saliva enters into the human blood stream.

Mr Hammond went to hospital when his joints became painful and stiff.

Doctors spotted the illness before its lethal stage and Chris is now recovering at home on antibiotics.

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