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WHAT DISEASES DO RODENTS CARRY?
Categories: Common Pests, Health and Safety, Mice and Rats
It is of paramount importance that you protect yourself and your family from the possible disease spread by rodents. Please ensure you call pest control services if you suspect that you have any kind of mouse or rat infestation.
Spread by blacklegged tick bites, any rodent may be a carrier for Lyme Disease. Most commonly carried by deer mice, ticks, which attach themselves to the legs and bodies of mice and upon entering a home drop off their host and reattach themselves to a new, human host. Blacklegged ticks are found across Canada, with particularly bad endemic and risk areas in southern British Columbia; southeastern and south-central Manitoba; southern, eastern, and northwestern Ontario; southern Quebec, southern New Brunswick and Grand Manan Island; and southern Nova Scotia.
Lyme disease, which presents with flu-like symptoms, presents with a bulls-eye rash at the bite site. Other typical symptoms include:
fever or chills
bodily spasms or weakness
numbness or tingling
swollen lymph nodes
Found naturally in the intestines of animals, Salmonella is a bacteria that is transmitted to humans through the fecal matter of animals.
Typical symptoms of Salmonella infections include:
headaches, with sudden onset
These intestinal flu-like symptoms are often thought to be indicative of the influenza virus, though it is in no way related to the virus. Recovery typically takes 4-7 days and most people recover without treatment.
Most commonly occurring in Asia, Rat-Bite Fever is caused by the two types of bacteria: in North America, Streptobacillus moniliformis and in Asia Spirillum minus. This infectious disease is very serious and can be fatal when left untreated. Carried by both mice and rats, RBF is transmitted to humans through the bites or scratches where the bacteria in the nose and mouth of a rodent may be transferred. Often this bacteria is transmitted to humans through food or water.
Symptoms differ dependent on the strain of RBF bacteria you are exposed to. Streptobacillary RBF symptoms typically occur 3-10 days after exposure and include:
rash, maculopapular rash may appear on hands and feet; it is flat and reddened with small bumps
Similar symptoms occur with Spirillary RPF, though they do not typically occur until 7-21 days after exposure. They include:
development of an ulcer at the bite site
swelling near the wound
swollen lymph nodes
rash, which occurs after partial wound healing
The Hantaviruses cause severe illnesses in humans. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, which is most common in North and South America-- Haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome if found mainly in Asia and Europe-- is transmitted through both touch and inhalation: particles of the Hantavirus are released from the urine, feces, and saliva of rodents.
This highly uncommon disease has little known about it, though it appears that symptoms begin to show up within 1-5 weeks of exposure. Early symptoms include:
muscle aches, especially in large muscle groups
nausea and vomiting
If you experience any of these symptoms and are at risk of exposure, seek professional medical help immediately. Late stage symptoms, which show up 4-10 days after initial symptoms show up, include shortness of breath as your lungs fill with fluid. Mortality rate is an estimated 38%.
Typhus and Rickettsia are indirectly passed to humans by rodents, respectively by fleas and ticks. Typhus is common in port cities where rats run rampant. Infected fleas and ticks latch on to rodents and, once they’ve been brought into your home, they detach and bite their human (or pet) host, spreading the virus.
Often, typhus is under-recognised as it is has symptoms similar to other viral illnesses and given that flea bites go unnoticed. As with Typhus, Rickettsia presents with flu-like symptoms:
muscle and joint pain
nausea and vomiting
Typhus further presents with a discreet rash and may manifest with neurological signs including seizures, imbalance, and and confusion. Rickettsia shows no neurological signs and the rash associated with spans the entire body.
Plague is carried and transmitted by infected fleas who bite both animals and humans alike. Plague is introduced into a human when their blood is taken by a flea. While animals, especially rodents, are especially susceptible targets, fleas will move on to human hosts once their rodent host has died. Rodents primarily carry bubonic and septicemic plague. Since plague is highly aggressive and if you present with any of plague symptom and are at risk of exposure to a flea bite, receiving prompt medical attention is paramount.
Symptoms may vary greatly depending on the specific plague bacteria you are exposed to. Bubonic plague manifests with a sudden onset of fever, headache, and chills. Since the bubonic plague bacteria multiplies in the lymph node closest to the bacterial entrance site, the lymph becomes swollen, tender, and painful. If left untreated this can spread to further parts of the body.
Septicemic plague, which may also develop from untreated bubonic plague, also manifests with fever and chills, it is coupled with extreme weakness, severe abdominal pain, shock, and possible bleeding into the skin and other organs. Further, extremities-- primarily the fingers, toes, and nose-- may turn black and die as a result of the bacteria.
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