The Most Serious Diseases That Rats And Mice Can Spread To Humans
Rodents tend to invade hard-to-access areas within homes where they deposit bodily waste, chew on electrical wiring and damage building materials. Wall voids are the most common indoor hiding areas kept by rodents, but they can also be found in ventilation ducts, attic spaces, storage closets, behind appliances and furniture, and even within pantries and kitchen cabinets. Rats, mice and other rodents are considered major public health threats on account of the numerous disease-causing microorganisms that they can spread to humans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists several diseases that common mouse and rat pest species can spread to humans in Pennsylvania.
Several rodents in Pennsylvania, including deer mice and voles, spread a serious disease known as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome to humans. This disease is most common in the southwestern US where outbreaks have occurred, but the CDC has documented four cases as occurring within Pennsylvania. The rodents that spread this disease are also the most common rodent invaders of households, and the disease can be contracted by inhaling dust containing rodent feces and urine. Simply making physical contact with the feces and/or urine of infected rodents, or sustaining a bite from an infected mouse or rat can also see the disease spread to a human.
Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCM) is carried and transmitted by the common house mouse, which is a European native that can be found throughout Pennsylvania. LCM can be spread from mice to humans in any part of the world, and while pet rodents, like hamsters and guinea pigs, very rarely carry the disease, these pets have been known to contract the disease from bites inflicted by infected mice that invade homes. Initial LCM symptoms include fever, lack of appetite, muscle aches, headache, nausea, and vomiting, while the second stage sees significant brain swelling. Making contact with the urine and/or feces of infected mice, or inhaling dust containing the urine and fecal matter from infected mice can cause the disease.
Have you or anyone you know ever fallen ill as a result of being exposed to rodent infested conditions?
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