Oxford

Abingdon woman died from 'rat bite fever'

Rat Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Streptobacillus moniliformis is commonly known as rat-bite fever

A woman died after catching so-called rat bite fever from her pet, an inquest has heard.

Simone Stapley was bitten on the finger by her rat on 3 November 2018.

When it got infected the mother of one spoke to an NHS 111 operator but ignored calls to go to the GP, Oxford Coroner's Court heard.

On 8 November she suffered a cardiac arrest at home and was pronounced dead at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Coroner Darren Salter concluded the care worker from Abingdon died of an accident.

'Be aware'

On the morning of her death, Ms Stapley's boyfriend Ryan Bligdon said she was confused. In a written statement he said she had seen her son on the stairs, when he was not.

Mr Bligdon then thought the 34-year-old, who had suffered from repeated chest infections, was suffering from a stroke and called an ambulance.

A post-mortem examination found Ms Stapley was infected with streptobacillus moniliformis, commonly known as rat bite fever.

At her inquest, Mr Salter said: "People should be more aware there is a risk of an infection from a rat bite or scratch and, if that does happen, it needs to be subject to medical advice and treatment.

"The vast majority of cases can be dealt with in a few days using a regular course of antibiotics."

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