How is Rat-Bite Fever Spread?
There are several ways that people can get RBF:
- Through bites or scratches from rodents carrying the bacteria. The bacteria can enter the body directly through a bite wound, open skin, or mucous membranes such as in the eyes, nose, or mouth
- When handling rodents carrying the bacteria or through contact with their saliva, urine, or droppings
- Through contact with surfaces that are contaminated with the bacteria. The bacteria can enter the body through open skin, such as cuts or scrapes, or mucous membranes such as in the eyes, nose, or mouth
- Consuming food or drinks that have been contaminated with droppings or urine from a rodent carrying the bacteria
RBF is not spread from one person to another.
Page last reviewed: October 29, 2018