Man Develops Strange Symptoms After Being Nipped by Rat in Toilet, Days Later Doctors Give Him the Horrifying News

Man Develops Strange Symptoms After Being Nipped by Rat in Toilet, Days Later Doctors Give Him the Horrifying News

A 76-year-old Canadian man was hospitalized with a severe bacterial infection after a rat bit him on two of his fingers while he was trying to fish it out of his toilet bowl.

Initially, the man was treated in the emergency room of a Montréal hospital with basic wound care and a tetanus shot before being sent home.

However, Live Science reported that 18 days later, he returned to the hospital with symptoms of low blood pressure, fever, headaches, an increased heart rate and abdominal pain.

Then he received the horrifying news.

Medical tests revealed he was experiencing multiple organ failure, kidney damage and signs of sepsis.

Further examination confirmed he had contracted leptospirosis, a potentially deadly bacterial infection typically transmitted from animals to humans.

Doctors believe the infection was transmitted through the rat’s bite, which may have been contaminated with bacteria-laden urine.

The man’s case was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in January.

Leptospirosis is also called Weil’s disease, as it was discovered by late 19th-century German physician H. Adolf Weil.

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, which describes itself as the UK’s leading accident prevention charity, “Weil’s disease is a form of a bacterial infection also known as Leptospirosis that is carried by animals, most commonly in rats and cattle.”

The disease can be contracted by humans through contact with rat or cattle urine, usually through contaminated fresh water.

Fortunately, in the Canadian man’s case, antibiotic treatment quickly improved his condition and he was discharged after a few days in the infirmary.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 1 million cases of leptospirosis occur globally each year, resulting in nearly 60,000 deaths. About half of the U.S. cases occur in Puerto Rico.

In 2020, the the National Library of Medicine published a scientific report about a 43-year-old woman in Salvador, Brazil, who also contracted leptospirosis after a rat bit her ankle.

The woman reportedly sought emergency care with severe symptoms including fever, chills, headache and joint pain 13 days after receiving the rat bite.

Despite initial treatment with rabies shots and wound care, she developed complications including shortness of breath and was admitted to intensive care, where her condition improved after treatment with antibiotics, oseltamivir — which is sold under the brand name Tamiflu — and corticosteroids — a type of anti-inflammatory drug.

Typically, leptospirosis transmission and infection directly from a rat bite is uncommon and individuals living in tropical countries, and who are exposed to unsanitary conditions — particularly those living in urban slums — are at greater risk of contracting the potentially deadly disease.

In both the Canadian man’s and the Brazilian woman’s cases, they lived in middle-income neighborhoods with appropriate sanitary conditions.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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