Growing pet rat trend puts children at risk, doctors say

04/19/2011 | University of Montreal

Popular children's books such as "Harry Potter" and films such as "Ratatouille" have sparked a growing demand for pet rats, but doctors say the trend puts more children at risk of developing rat bite fever, a disease that can be contracted through casual contact and carries a mortality rate of up to 10% without treatment. However, veterinarian Scott Weese thinks education on zoonotic disease transmission, good hygiene and proper handling of animals would be more effective than a ban on rats as pets. Read the Worms & Germs blog for more on the subject.

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