Health Risks of Rodent Infestations

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Health Risks of Rodent Infestations

There is a spreading use and social media that Hantavirus recently killed a man from China. This post has caused people to panic all over the globe, thinking that they need to face another adversity. This virus is different from the notorious COVID-19.

While doctors hypothesize that COVID-19 came from bats, Hantavirus comes from rodents, specifically from rats, mice, and raccoons. Hantavirus is transmitted to human beings through their contact with the excrements of these rodents. Human to human transmission of Hantavirus is extremely rare. So, there’s really nothing to worry about unless you live with a rodent-infested house.

The real question we need to ask is not how to prevent Hantavirus but how to prevent rodents from infesting our homes. To tell you the truth, this is not the only disease that rodents can bring to human beings. Here are a few more:

Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis

The most common host of the LCM virus is the mouse. Entomologists estimated that over 5% of mice carry the virus in the United States alone. Hamsters and other rodents can carry the disease as well. However, the incidence of these creatures carrying LCM is not as prevalent as the common mouse. 

Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis can be transmitted to human beings through exposure to the rodent’s urine, feces, saliva, and nesting materials. Professionals say that LCM exposures are common during the colder months when the common house mouse looks for a home to outlive the winter. 

Entomologists also report that LCM can be transmitted through the bite of infected rodents. Luckily, there are no reports that indicate human to human transmission. The symptoms of LCM include but are not limited to the following; malaise, fever, loss of appetite, muscle aches, headaches, and vomiting. Less severe symptoms include pain in the salivary glands, cough, and joint pains. 

This virus affects the central nervous system. Most of its victims develop neurological disorders such as encephalitis. Pregnant individuals who acquire the virus could pass this to their fetus. This can lead to fetal death or termination of pregnancy. 

Bubonic plague 

The bubonic plague is infamous for killing millions of people in Europe in the Middle Ages. This is a disease caused by the Yersinia petis bacteria that affects humans and animals. Bubonic plague is transmitted to human beings through the bite of an infected rat flea. It can also be transmitted through contact with the infected rat’s droppings and saliva. 

The latest plague outbreak recorded was in Los Angeles in the early 1920s. Even if it has been controlled, infections continue to spread in rural areas in the United States. The symptoms of bubonic plague include but are not limited to headaches and swollen lymph nodes.  Luckily, this can be treated using over the counter antibiotics. However, if it is not treated properly it could lead to complications, including death.

Tularemia

Tularemia is caused by the bacteria Francisellatularensis. It is a lethal disease that can kill its hosts easily. This is why during Tularemia outbreaks, thousands of rodents such as mice, rats, raccoons, and hares die. 

Humans can get infected through the bite of infected rodents. It could also be from the bite of ticks and fleas that have bitten the infected rodents. Not only do you need to worry about rodent infestations but tick infestations as well. 

The signs and symptoms of this disease vary from one body to another. Some experience headaches while the others experience extremely high fevers which can range up to 104° F. 

Four types of Tularemia can infect the body. The most common one is the ulceroglandular disease. This occurs when an infected deer tick bites the human skin. A skin ulcer starts to manifest on the site which is later accompanied by the swelling of the lymph nodes such as the armpit or the groin. 

If you experience these symptoms, go to a doctor immediately to get the medication you need before it complicates your condition. If you don’t get proper medical intervention, the bacteria will slowly eat your cells, and you will die along with it. 

These are only a few of the illnesses you can acquire from rodents. This is the reason why we need to take extra precaution to prevent any infestation that involves these pests. For the ultimate pest protection program, call a professional exterminator to do the work. This way you can rid your house from rodents for good and alleviate yourself from all the worry it causes. 

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