How we all wish that all rodents could be as fun and lovable as Mickey and Minnie. But sadly, this is not the case. The sight of a mouse or a rat can scare even the bravest of the lot. And worse, these animals, which are very often found in homes, can greatly threaten the health of people. Among the diseases that may be spread by rodents are the following:
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
A common disease transmitted by rodents such as the deer mouse, cotton rat, rice rat, and white-footed mouse is the hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. This is an infectious disease that exhibits flu-like symptoms that may progress quickly to fatal breathing problems. This disease may be transmitted through breathing of dust contaminated with the urine or droppings of rodents and direct contact with rodents or their urine or droppings. In rare cases, a person may be infected after being bitten by these rodents.
Leptospirosis is another common disease associated with rodents and may occur in any country. This is caused by bacteria that may result to a number of symptoms that may lead to kidney or liver failure, respiratory disorders, meningitis, or even death. Leptospirosis is spread through eating food or drinking liquids contaminated with the urine of infected rodents. Another way this disease is transmitted is through contact of the skin or mucous membranes with soil or water contaminated with the urine of infected animals.
Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis (LCM)
Caused by the common house mouse, Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis or simply LCM is a very serious and life-threatening viral infection that targets the membranes surrounding the brain, spinal cord, and the cerebrospinal fluid causing the dreaded meningitis. This disease is usually transmitted through direct contact or breathing of dust contaminated with the urine or droppings of house mice. In rare cases, bites from these mice may cause LCM.
Salmonellosis is a form of food poisoning caused by the bacterium called the salmonella enterica. Symptoms of this condition include fever, diarrhea, and abdominal pain that may appear 12 to 72 hours after being infected. This food poisoning may result from eating foods or drinking water that is contaminated with the rodents’ feces.
While not as common as other rodent-related diseases, rat-bite is a very serious disease that may occur in any country. Other names for this disease include streptobacillary fever, streptobacillosis, spirillary fever, sodoku, and epidemic arthritic erythema. Symptoms may vary depending on the type of rodent causing the infection although some usual signs are fever, chills, vomiting, rashes, nausea, and muscle aches. This disease is transmitted through eating foods or drinking water that is contaminated with the feces of a rodent. Wounds caused by an infected rodent may also cause the onset of this deadly disease.
Although there may be devices or chemicals that may be used for getting rid of rodents, these generally do not completely eradicate the problem and may even expose the residents to risks of these chemicals. Especially those within the Ontario area, homeowners are urged to seek the assistance of professional to ensure that the problems related to rodents are addressed properly.