Living with mice can create a number of problems and make life much more uncomfortable in your home. Not only are these pests a nuisance but they can also introduce a number of health risks to the families they intrude upon. Mice and other rodents are known to carry a number of diseases that can spread to humans directly through contact with feces, urine, saliva or bites.
Diseases can also spread from insects like fleas, ticks or mites that travel and feed on these rodents. It’s not uncommon during the winter months for these rodents to seek out a place to hide from the cold and doing so can lead to illness for anybody in your house. With rodents invading over 21 million homes every winter, you and your family should be aware of the these three common diseases that can easily be spread without proper prevention.
The Hantavirus was first recognized in 1993 and is commonly carried by the white-footed mouse, cotton rat and rice rat. People can be exposed to the virus in several ways but the primary cause is exposure to the virus in and around the home from rodent infestations. The virus can be transmitted to people when rodent waste is stirred up, becomes airborne and is breathed in. It can also be contracted through food that’s been contaminated by rodent urine, feces or saliva.
Symptoms can develop between one and five weeks after exposure and can lead to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, a potentially fatal respiratory disease. Early symptoms of the virus include headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dizziness. There is no treatment or cure for the virus but if recognized early the patient can receive the best care.
Small rodents are known to frequently carry the salmonella bacteria in their digestive tract. Like the Hantavirus, Salmonella is spread through contact with rodent waste. The animals can spread the disease by contaminating food and water in your home. The disease can also spread to household pets and often results in death.
In humans symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, fever and abdominal cramps. The Center of Disease Control reports that every year over 42,000 people become ill due to salmonella and without proper pest prevention it’s fairly easy to become apart of that statistic.
Rat bite fever can occur in people who have been bitten and infected by a rat, or another animal that has been contaminated by a rodent carrying the disease. The bite typically heals quickly but three to ten days later symptoms like fever, muscle pain, skin rash, arthritis and fever will arise.
Within 21 days these symptoms can worsen and cause the person to seek hospitalization. As rodents become more prevalent in your home it becomes easier to come into close contact with them. Proper treatment can help prevent fever and keep your family safe from rat bites.
Concerned about mice in your home? Schedule a free rodent control consultation today!