The Bacteria Called Spirilla
Bacteria, germs, pathogens, microbes, viruses, and parasites are collectively known as microorganisms. These minute living organisms cause serious waterborne diseases that may claim the lives of many.
Studies show that water is a vehicle for transmitting diseases. Millions of disease-causing microorganisms are found in contaminated waters, and we are all aware that we get quite a number of diseases in these waters.
One of the disease-causing microorganisms is called spirilla. Spirilla or spirillum in its singular form; are spirally twisted rodlike bacteria usually living in stagnant water. The disease that causes this type of bacteria is called rat-bite fever.
Rats are known to be one of the carriers of diseases as they live in filthy areas especially in manholes, sewers, stagnant waters and in any dirtiest possible places there could be. And so they are great targets of spirilla. When these rodents get in contact with humans then the infection spreads.
This disease is called Rat-bite fever and is caused by two types of bacteria; Spirillium minus and Streptobacillus moniliformis
Let’s focus on spirillum minus bacterium causing rat-bite fever.
Spirillum minus also known as spirillosis is a rare disease. Most cases occur in Japan and some parts of Asia. In Japan this disease is called “Sodoku”.
Rat-bite fever is an infection transmitted to humans, usually by the bite of a rat or a mouse. It is also passed from rodent to human via exposure to the infected animal’s urine, feces, and bodily secretions from the mouth, nose or eyes of the rodent.
Symptoms and Treatment
The incubation period of spirillary rat-like fever is two to ten days, sometimes even longer. The main symptom is a cycle of fever lasting from two to four days but recur generally at four to eight weeks and may continue for months or years together. Other symptoms include chills, rash and problems with the lymph nodes which will often swell as a reaction to the infection. Most common areas or locations of lymph node swelling are in the neck and underarm. The symptoms of spirillosis can take up to a month after exposure to the organism to develop, the infected area exhibits slow healing and inflammation.
Spirillosis is not treated right away may lead to complications such as, myocarditis, endocarditis, hepatitis, splenomegaly and meningitis.
Rat-bite fever is treated with antibiotics. Your physician may prescribe penicillin or tetracyclines for seven to fourteen days.
Protection from Spirilla
Now that you have already determined what spirilla is and the disease that causes the bacteria and its symptoms, it’s now time to protect yourself, your family and your community.
How to protect yourself from spirilla?
Protecting yourself from spirilla causing disease should start from cleaning your surroundings. Check stagnant waters in your backyard as this is where spirilla and rats breed. In case there are rats in your area, get rid of them, use rat-killers, etc. One should live in a clean hygienic environment. Sewage workers or those with occupational exposure to rodents should wear protective clothing and wash right after.
Avoiding contact with rodents is the most effective prevention from acquiring rat-bite fever. When bitten or scratched by a rodent, wash the infected area and apply antiseptic. Seek medical attention right away for immediate treatment is necessary to reduce damage due to a rat-bite fever.
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