Mice and the diseases they can carry
The mere presence of mice in your home is irritating enough. When you realize that mice and rats also cause deadly diseases, it will not only terrify you but will also prompt you to do everything you can to get rid of them. Here are some important facts you should know about mice and the life-threatening illnesses they can transmit to your entire household.
Mice invade about 21 million households in the US alone every year. This becomes even more prevalent during the winter season. During cold months, mice are in search of shelter and reliable sources of food and water. They can enter through small cracks and holes while bringing with them various diseases.
The build-up of mice waste can spread bacteria that can trigger some allergic reactions in humans. When mouse droppings become dry, they can become dangerous when humans inhale the pungent smell. To better understand how mice can pose serious health risks, here are some common diseases that they can cause.
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)
This is a life-threatening disease that mice can transmit to humans. A person can be infected by being exposed to its feces, urine, and saliva. The early symptoms are fatigue, fever, muscle aches, and chills.
Unfortunately, diagnosing HPS is still a challenge among physicians. People who had direct exposure to rural rats or mice and coincidentally experienced short breathing is a strong indicator that the patient could be suffering from HPS.
Salmonella or “salmonellosis” is a type of food poisoning that can be spread through mice feces. Every year more than 40,000 Americans are affected. Major symptoms include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and fever. Though salmonella is not a deadly disease, infants, pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems can develop serious complications when infected that can later lead to death.
This is an extremely infectious disease that caused an entire plague worldwide during the middle ages! This disease is also known as the “Black Plague”. It is transmitted through a bite from an infected mice flea. An infected person experiences headaches, fever, and painful swollen lymph nodes.
Rat-bite fever (RBF)
This one can be fatal if not treated immediately. A person can be infected if bitten by mice or by consuming food contaminated with mice waste. The bacteria responsible for this disease travels throughout the body and will cause symptoms such as headaches, fever, muscle aches, rash, and vomiting. According to the CDC, these symptoms can persist for 3-10 days.
Murine Typhus is caused by a type of flea that lives in the body of mice. A person can get infected by getting bit by it and even by just inhaling its droppings.
Major symptoms include fever, body aches, nausea, and chills. This can persist for 2 weeks. If not treated immediately, it can become a severe illness that can damage vital organs including kidneys, brain, lungs, and the heart.