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Australia's mouse plague almost killed a farmer whose land became overrun with disease-carrying rodents.
A doctor told Darrell Jordison he would not have survived the night he was taken to hospital, had his wife not dialled for help.
Darrell lost one and a half stone in weight during a fever bordering on 40C, after feeling sluggish for months.
It was only when his wife called for an ambulance when his health plummeted in February, that the extent of the danger he was in became clear.
The farmer from the Gulargambone area in New South Wales, Australia is believed to be the first in the country to contract lymphocytic choriomeningitis, Daily Mail reports.
The rodent-borne disease is a type of bacterial meningitis but is so rare that baffled doctors only diagnosed it five weeks after Darrell desperately receiving medical care in hospital.
He told the Today Show : "The doctor asked me why did I call the ambulance and he said that phone call saved my life.
"He said I wouldn't have lasted into the morning."
Darrell described his symptoms as those of an extreme flu, leaving him with a constant throbbing headache and unable to cope with light.
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The farmer added: "I hadn't eaten. I kept thinking 'gee I hope I never get this sick again'.
"I wasn't taken any risks with the mice but I was told that just picking up a bale of hay that had some (mouse) urine on the string and not washing my hands was enough to get it.'
After fighting off a range of side effects from the disease, Mr Jordison said he has made a full recovery and is back to working normally on his farm.
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According to the Daily Mail, the bacterial meningitis shockingly kills as many as one in ten who have caught it.
With other rural-based families in Australia also hit by mice, some have reported waking up to rodents clambering all over them in bed.
The ability for a female mouse to reproduce so early in its life and frequently has been pinpointed as the major reason behind the plague.
The common mouse has a lifespan of two or three years yet at just six weeks old female mice can start reproducing.
After only three weeks of pregnancy, a female can give birth to ten youngsters and potentially get pregnant again the very next day.
Then if half of that litter of ten is female, they will be mature enough to reproduce in little over a month later, meaning a pair of mice can start a colony of almost 2,000 mice within five months.
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