RAT RELATED HEALTH HAZARDS & DISEASES
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS):
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings, or saliva. Humans can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus. HPS was first recognized in 1993 and has since been identified throughout the United States. Although rare, HPS is potentially deadly. Rodent control in and around the home remains the primary strategy for preventing hantavirus infection.
||Here is information on some of the diseases caused by rats, as gathered from the Center For Disease Control & Prevention http://www.cdc.gov|
Murine typhus (caused by infection with R. typhi) occurs worldwide and is transmitted to humans by rat fleas. Flea-infested rats can be found throughout the year in humid tropical environments, but in temperate regions are most common during the warm summer months. Travelers who visit in rat-infested buildings and homes, especially in harbor or riverine environments, can be at risk for exposure to the agent of murine typhus.
Rat-bite fever (RBF):
Rat-bite fever (RBF) is a systemic bacterial illness caused by Streptobacillus moniliformis that can be acquired through the bite or scratch of a rodent or the ingestion of food or water contaminated with rat feces.
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium:
As its name suggests, it causes a typhoid-like disease in mice. In humans S. Typhimurium does not cause as severe disease as S. Typhi, and is not normally fatal. The disease is characterized by diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting and nausea, and generally lasts up to 7 days. Unfortunately, in immunocompromized people, that is the elderly, young, or people with depressed immune systems, Salmonella infections are often fatal if they are not treated with antibiotics.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. In humans it causes a wide range of symptoms, and some infected persons may have no symptoms at all. Symptoms of leptospirosis include high fever, severe headache, chills, muscle aches, and vomiting, and may include jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or a rash. If the disease is not treated, the patient could develop kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, and respiratory distress. In rare cases death occurs.
Eosinophilic meningitis is an infection of the brain occurring in association with an increase in the number of eosinophils,
white blood cells that are associated with infection with worms that penetrate into the body. The organism most commonly
causing eosinophilic meningitis is a rat lung worm called angiostrongylus cantonensis.
For identification purposes, here are some photographs of rat poop, which can contain many of the diseases discussed above. If you want to prevent rat diseases for
yourself and your pets, you may want to consider attic decontamination to remove the pathogens and health risk.
In addition, if you have a rat problem in your house that you want to solve, it is not always easily done. The key is to find out how the rats are getting inside your house, and to seal those holes shut. Then you must trap in exactly the correct manner. This
is the only approach that will ensure complete and permanent removal or rats. Read more about it on my get rid of rats page.
If you need rat or wildlife control services in your hometown, try these service areas:
Los Angeles |
San Diego |
Washington DC |
Fort Lauderdale |
What diseases do rats carry? There are quite a number of rat-borne diseases that can affect humans. Rat bites and scratches for instance can trigger a feverish condition . Rat urine has been known to trigger a disease known as “Leptospirosis”, a condition that can cause damages to the Kidney and liver. Most rat-borne diseases can be contacted through the inhalation of pieces of feces, or handling feces and urine. Coming in contact with the skin of rats can also cause certain allergic reactions that can affect the lungs.
Rat is also known to spread a viral infection known as “Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis” also referred to as “LCMV”, this infection can be transmitted when a human is in contact with the saliva or urine of a rat, or when fleas from the skin of a rat bites a human. In the middle ages, thousands of people were killed as a result of the transfer of diseases through fleas from rats. Rat droppings , including their food remnants and feces have also been found to trigger allergic reactions in humans, also, the dander and shed hair of rats can also trigger sneezing and other symptoms of allergic reactions in humans.
There are basically two categories of diseases and infections transmitted by rats , and these are; diseases transmitted by direct exposure to infected rat feces, bites, urine, and secondly the indirectly transmitted diseases transferred through intermediary vectors such as fleas, ticks and mites. The four most prominent rat diseases common in the world today are; Salmonellosis, Rat bite fever, Hantavirus Pulmonary syndrome (HPS), and Leptospirosis.
Salmonellosis is a form of rat disease that can be contacted through the consumption of water or food that has been contaminated by rat feces or urine. The rat bite fever is predominantly caused by rat bite, scratches or handling an infected rat carcass. Leptospirosis is a bacteria infection that can be contacted when you swim in a pool that has been contaminated by rat carcass, urine or feces. You are at higher risks of contracting Leptospirosis if you work outdoors or with animals. The HPS disease is a viral infection mainly transmitted by the “rice rat” specie. This disease can be spread through a number of ways , and most prominent among these are; through inhalation of dusts containing rat feces or urine, direct contact with rat urine or feces, and through frequent bite from rat.
It is very important to wear a protective mask, as well as gloves and protective clothing when handling rat carcasses, or when vacuuming and disinfecting a rat infested colony- these precautionary steps will reduce your chances of getting allergic attack or suffering from other bacteria and viral infections caused by rats.
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