For centuries, black rats have been considered the propagators of the Black Death which killed more than 25 million people across Europe in the mid-14th Century.
While recent studies have found that the real reason for the transmission of the disease may have been human fleas and lice and not the fleas on rats, it does not take away from the fact that rodents of all kinds can cause serious health problems in humans.
1 in every 3 American has had to suffer through a rodent infestation at least once in their lives. They can not only cause disgust, and damage to household equipment and structures, but also come with a number of health problems.
Let’s take a quick look at what these health problems are to better ensure our houses against mouse and rat infestations:
How diseases spread through rodents
There are two ways of the spread of a disease because of a rodent; direct and indirect. Direct transmission occurs when a human comes in physical contact with rodent feces, urine, through rodent bites, or even through handling a dead rodent.
Indirect transmission is a result of fleas, ticks or mites that might have infected the mice and become airborne.
The most common diseases spread by rodents
Hantavirus: A form of disease that spreads through direct contact, this virus is usually found in deer mice, white-footed mice, rice rats and cotton rats. The disease commonly spreads when people inhale dust infected with fresh rat or mice feces, urine, saliva or hair or eat food that has come in contact with the same. It may also spread through rodent bites.
Common symptoms include fever, dizziness, nausea, respiratory problems and fatigue. In extreme cases, the patient may suffer from Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), a respiratory disorder which can be fatal.
Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCM): The common house mouse is the primary carrier of this disease, which is transmitted through exposure to fresh urine, droppings, saliva or dander of infected mice. Person-to-person LCM transmission is rare, but a pregnant woman carrying the disease could possibly pass on the virus to the unborn infant.
The first phase of the infection shows symptoms such as fever, malaise, muscle and headaches, nausea and vomiting. Some victims may also report sore throats, salivary gland pain and chest and joint pains.
In the second phase, the patient may suffer from neurological symptoms such as meningitis, sensory disturbances and motor abnormalities. It is possible to suffer permanent neurological after being infected with the LCM virus.
Rat-Bite Fever (RBF): As the name suggests, this is a form of disease that can occur due to a bite from an infected rat. In some cases, it can also be transmitted through contaminated food and drink, in which case it is usually called Haverhill fever.
Common symptoms include fever and chills, headaches, rashes, vomiting and diarrhea. The resultant fevers may be recurrent, often lasting for days on end and frequently recurring for months or even years.
Rodent Prevention and Extermination Services
Rodents can pose a serious health risk to you and your family. If you’re afraid your house may have a rodent infestation, or just want to prevent against it, you may want to opt for professional rodent extermination services.
Xterminator offers professional pest control services in Columbus, Ohio and can take care of everything from house rodents to termites and ants. Contact us now and protect your family against rodent-induced diseases.