A pest controller may have saved a farmer's life when he spotted a potentially fatal infection.
When Andrew Beddoes looked at a shivering Rupert Hyett, he noticed his eyes had turned yellow - classic signs that he had developed Weil's disease which is carried in rat's urine. "It was just lucky that Andrew was involved in trying to get rid of the rats," said Mr Hyett, 52, who runs a small arable farm at Hasfield, near Tewkesbury.
"When I caught it, I was out working and Andrew just happened to come along and see me. That was the first day that I had it really badly.
"He noticed I was not well. I just thought it was a fever but it got worse the next day."
Mr Beddoes, 47, who runs his own vermin control firm, AB Complete, feared Mr Hyett had developed leptospirosis, which is known as Weil's disease when jaundice occurs. It can be fatal. "I was convinced we were on top of the rats," he said.
"I went out to see him and he was sat in his vehicle and could not do anything to get warm.
"He was convulsing and shivering - he had yellow under his eyes. I took him home, I thought he had leptospirosis."
The next day, said Mr Beddoes, a doctor gave Mr Hyett antibiotics, but he returned and he was given a blood test, which confirmed leptospirosis.
"If it had not been detected, he could be in hospital with kidney and liver failure," said Mr Beddoes, from Tirley.
"He was within six or seven days of being seriously ill in hospital. I have never seen a case of this before in 25 years."
The bacterial infection is notifiable but transfer between humans is extremely rare.
Mr Hyett is still taking antibiotics and is starting to feel much better.
"It's just as well Andrew spotted it," he said. "I'm starting to feel better now."
This story was originally posted on the PCP forum. Related threads: