Definition of rat–bite fever
: either of two febrile bacterial diseases of humans usually transmitted by the bite of a rat
First Known Use of rat–bite fever
Medical Definition of rat–bite fever
: either of two febrile human diseases usually transmitted by the bite of a rat:a: a disease that is marked by irregular relapsing fever with chills and nausea or vomiting, rashes on the arms, legs, hands and feet, and muscular pain and arthritis, and that is caused by a bacterium of the genus Streptobacillus (S. moniliformis)b: a disease that is marked by recurrent fever and chills, painful inflammation of the bite wound, and muscular pain, rash, and enlargement of the lymph nodes especially in the region where the bite occurred and that is caused by a bacterium of the genus Spirillum (S. minor synonym S. minus)—called also sodoku
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