Pesky rats and mice are terrible nuisances in our homes. They wreck the garbage, gnaw on our furniture, bore holes into our house and worse bring illnesses to our family.

Rodents can bring illnesses to our homes by simply being there. They can cause diseases by contaminating our food, drink and eating utensils with their urine and droppings, exposing us to germs and bacteria through dust particles from their nests and fleas on their bodies, and bites or scratches.

image via

Here is a list of rodent borne illnesses that affect us worldwide.

Rat Bite Fever – may be acquired from bites or scratches of an infected rat or mouse, ingestion of food and drinks contaminated with rat urine or feces, and exposure to a dead rat.

Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV) – is a viral infection that we can get from the common house mouse. It is transmitted through inhalation of dust contaminated with rodent urine and droppings and direct contact with rodents.

Leptospirosis – bacterial disease that may be acquired from eating food and drinks contaminated by rodents and other animals, or skin contact with soil or water contaminated by urine of infected animals. i.e. during floods when a person with wounds or a break in the skin gets into contact with contaminated water.

Salmonellosis – bacterial infection that attacks our gastrointestinal system. This results from eating food and drinking water contaminated by rat feces.

Common symptoms of rodent borne illnesses are fever, vomiting and muscle pains. It is often treatable with antibiotics and early intervention. Patients who don’t receive immediate care end up in serious conditions and even death. Don’t hesitate to ask for professional medical opinion if a family member becomes ill after exposure to rodents or their nests, it might save their lives.

Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.