Rodents are known carriers of over 70 deadly diseases and viruses. There have been more than 10 million deaths in the past century due to rodent-borne diseases. Rodents are held liable for the Black Plague during the Middle Ages. They can also spread bubonic plague, typhus, and Hantavirus which are all proven to be harmful to human health. Rodents may not be considered as a huge threat to everyday life, but they are still capable of transmitting diseases and viruses. Through their nature and design, these critters can easily harbor and transport diseases from one place to another.
How Rodents Spread Deadly Diseases
The way rodents are designed by nature, they are capable of harboring and spreading diseases. They can dwell in homes and other buildings bringing with them unsanitary substances along with diseases and viruses. Since rodents typically live in close proximity with humans, it becomes a lot easier to contract rodent-borne diseases. These critters share homes with humans where they nest and sleep in the furniture used by residents also to relax, sleep, and even store their clothing. For these reasons, people are more vulnerable to potential spread of diseases carried by rodents.
Rodents also carry with them certain parasites such as ticks and mites which also carry deadly pathogens. Even without these parasites, rodents are more than capable of transmitting deadly germs on their own through their urine and droppings. Rodents can produce hundreds of excrements and deposit urine in various areas of a home or building. They can also deposit disease-causing germs through their saliva and blood. Rodents can also spread germs through their hair and hair fragments.
On top of all these, rodents are also prolific breeders. They can multiply in a short period of time as long as food, water, and shelter are available to them. This will result to hundreds of rodents living in a home or building. The deadly germs carried by these rodents can quickly spread and infect areas, people, and other animals.
Common Rodent-Borne Diseases
People can contract rodent-borne diseases through their urine, droppings, saliva, blood, or through their hair. If a person gets in contact with any of these disease-carrying critters, that person might suffer from life threatening diseases. Here are some of the most common rodent-borne diseases known today.
Leptospirosis: This disease is contracted through rat urine. Leptospirosis can result in liver and kidney damage and failure. It can also lead to cardiovascular problems if it is not treated immediately. About half of the reported cases of this disease are fatal.
Hantavirus: This disease is a fatal renal syndrome that can cause tachycardia and tachypnoea, or abnormally rapid heart rate and breathing. The individual who suffers from this disease can also experience cardiovascular shock. During the first stage of this disease, the infected individual may suffer from flu-like symptoms, severe respiratory distress, and renal failure. Hantavirus is transmitted through rodent feces, urine, and other body fluids.
Rat-bite Fever: This rodent-borne disease is very common in Asia. Its symptoms may include relapsing fever which typically lasts for several months. Rat-bite fever is transmitted through the mouth and nose of a rat or mice. It can also be transmitted through bite and scratch.
Plague: Rodents are considered as the main culprit for the Black Plague in the Middle Ages. This disease attacks the circulatory and respiratory systems. The symptoms may include headache, fatigue, and coughing. Another type of plague is the Septicemic plague which may result in internal bleeding. People can contract this disease thorough a rodent flea bite.
Rodents may seem harmless due to their size but they are capable of spreading deadly diseases. Due to the dangers they pose, it is crucial to take necessary action to avoid making any contact with these critters, and prevent them from sharing your property.
Kris Lim is a health advocate who specializes in rodent-borne diseases. She offers comprehensive information about the diseases brought about by rodents, and she regularly contributes articles for Admiral Pest Orange County to spread awareness.