Diseases Carried by Rodents

The extent of havoc that rats may cause extend far more than just gnawing on your clothes, wirings and snacking on your food in the pantry. They cause an even more alarming threat to your health.

Rat scratches and bites can cause various diseases that are proven fatal to humans infected. Here are some of the diseases that are directly transmitted by rodents:

Leptospirosis

A bacterial disease that affects both animals and humans. This disease is spread through drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated by infected animals, most commonly, rodents. It can also be contracted through skin contact with soil or water that is contaminated by urine of infected animals. Its symptoms are often mistaken for other diseases so it’s best to seek medical help if most of the following symptoms are present.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches
  • Chills
  • High Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Red Eyes
  • Jaundice
  • Rash
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Jaundice

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)

Single-stranded, negative-sense RNA viruses that normally infect rodents. Rodents do not get diseases from this virus but it can be fatal to humans. Humans may contract the virus through contact with infected saliva, feces, or urine.

The incubation time is not accurately determined, however, based on previous cases, it seems that symptoms may develop between 1 and 8 weeks after exposure.

Signs and Symptoms

Early symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches

Late symptoms:

  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath

Bubonic Plague

Bubonic plague is a bacterial infection caused by Yersinia pestis which can be found in many areas in the world. It affects rodents, some animals, and humans.

It infects the lymph system causing it to be inflamed. Humans get infected from bites of rodents or infected fleas. Sometimes, humans get infected by being in contact with or using contaminated clothing and other materials previously used by an infected person.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Body malaise
  • Tender, swollen lymph nodes

Lassa Fever

An acute viral haemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus. This illness usually lasts 2 to 21 days and can be transmitted to humans by playing with, touching or cutting up a dead rat.

Signs and symptoms

In most cases, there would be no symptoms felt. On the other hand, in about 20% of the cases, the situation can be quite complicated. There is about 5000 estimated death every year caused by this virus.

  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle pains
  • Facial swelling
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Mucosal bleeding

Diseases carried by rodents are either transmitted via direct contact to infected urine, feces and bites or indirectly through fleas, ticks or mites. If you think that rats are only capable of destroying clothes and wirings, you better think again because rats pose an even more dangerous threat to both you and your family.

If you are suspecting a rat infestation in your home, do not hesitate to contact us. Our inspectors look for evidence of damage and identify the root cause of pest problems, if there are any. Twinspectors educates homeowners about the presence of pests in their homes and provide them with advice on find a solution for the situation.