How Rodents Can Spread Disease
Rodents may spread diseases directly or indirectly and pose a threat to you and your family
When pests intrude into our homes, they often cause havoc in our lives. They are not only annoying but also potentially dangerous, as they can be carriers of serious diseases. When we speak of pests, usually people think of insects like cockroaches, ants, termites, spiders and wasps. However, there are bigger and more troublesome pests who may infest your home. For example rats and mice can pose a major problem.
Why Rodents Are a Nuisance
- Their presence makes the occupants of the house tense.
- They can spread diseases.
- They bite and nibble things and spoil them.
- They dirty the place and may contaminate food.
Ways in Which Diseases Can Be Passed to People
Rodents can pass on diseases in many different ways.
- If a person inhales dust which is contaminated with their droppings or urine he may contract a disease.
- If a person comes into direct contact with a rodent.
- A person may get afflicted by a disease if he touches the urine or feces of a rodent.
- By consuming water or food which is contaminated.
- If a rodent scratches or bites a person he may succumb to an illness.
Diseases That Can Be Passed
Many serious diseases can be passed to people through rodents. They include:
- Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, which is a life threatening respiratory disease. It is transmitted by the saliva, urine or droppings of an infected rodent. A person who breathes in aerosolized virus contracts this disease.
- Leptospirosis, which is a bacterial disease. Some symptoms of this disease are high fever, chills, severe headache, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle ache. The infected person may experience abdominal pain. It can cause liver, kidney, and respiratory problems. If left untreated it can be fatal.
- Rat-Bite Fever is another bacterial disease. It is acquired through the scratch or bite of a rodent or by eating food which is contaminated with rodent feces. It can be fatal if it is not treated in time.
- Salmonellosis is a bacterial infection. The afflicted person has abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Sometimes it may be serious and the person may have to be hospitalized. It may be fatal.
Parasites That Can Be Passed to Humans
Some of the common parasites which rodents may pass to humans are fleas, mites and ticks. Though they may seem to be innocuous they can be the carriers of serious diseases if they have lived on an infected rodent.