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Either of two infectious diseases contractible from the bite of small rodents, especially rats, specifically:
a. A disease caused by the bacterium Streptobacillus moniliformis and characterized by skin inflammation, back and joint pains, headache, and vomiting.
b. A disease caused by the bacterium Spirillum minus and characterized by ulceration at the site of the bite, rash, and recurrent fever. In this subsense also called sodoku.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.