As someone who works in zoonotic diseases and One Health, I deal with the ever-present issue of trying to raise awareness while preventing people from over-reacting, panicking or doing something stupid. It can be tough, since we want people to realize that animal-to-human transmission of infections is an important issue, but don’t want them huddling

Rat bite fever is a bit of a niche disease but one that I talk about a fair bit because it’s often missed, or at least diagnosed a lot later than it could (and perhaps should) be.  It’s not an issue with technology or testing – it’s an issue of human behaviour and failing to

I’m always on the lookout for good-looking, easy-access resources to help communicate (and to help others communicate) messages around safe and responsible pet ownership, which is how this blog got its start!  I also don’t like re-inventing the wheel when I don’t have to, and I appreciate that many organizations have people with vastly better

Rat bite fever (RBF) is an uncommon disease in people, but one that I nonetheless spend a lot of time talking about with owners, veterinarians, and physicians (and sometimes lawyers). It’s a bacterial infection spread by (you guessed it) rats. The causative agent of RBF is an obscure bacterium called Streptobacillus moniliformis, which lives

I’ve written (ranted?) regularly about fake service dogs and disruptive emotional support animals. I’ve had the odd “you must hate animals” reply, but selfish people who slap a service dog vest on their pet so they can take it anywhere, just because they want to take it anywhere, cause problems for people who really need

When I talk to veterinary and public health audiences about zoonotic diseases, I often talk about rat bite fever because it highlights some common issues that are important to keep in mind.

Usually, I start by presenting a case of a child with a fever and rash.

Then, I mention that someone finally asked about

The post below is reproduced from It applies equally for veterinary medicine.

I think most people buy into the concept of fossil fuels being finite resources. Someday, they’ll run out or logistics and cost of extraction will make them impractical. Accordingly, we’re thinking about ways to reduce and improve use (to delay the

A series of strange but rare infections or the sign of a new problem? That’s always the question we have to think about when there’s a report of a new disease. Determining that can be a challenge, and often “time will tell” is the true answer.

A paper in the most recent edition of the