Fear of rats and rodents in general are a common phobia and people have every reason to be afraid of them. Just imagine the dirty places where these pests come from and how painful it is to be bitten by them. However,there is a more serious reason why homeowners should consider hiring a professional exterminator for pest control: rodents can pass on diseases to humans.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists the types of diseases that can be directly transmitted by rodents.Here are three of most serious rodent-borne diseases that can be contracted at home and in your neighborhood.
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
This virus can be found in North and South America. It can be transferred to humans through direct contact with the rodents and their waste matter. The virus may also be contracted when the person breathes in particles that contain rodent droppings. Cotton rat, deer mouse, and rice rat are the known carriers of Hantavirus.
Hantavirus symptoms include fever, vomiting and diarrhea, and breathing difficulties. The best way to protect yourself from hantavirus is by getting a pest control expert to get rid of rats and mice at home. When cleaning rodent droppings, it is advisable to use a mask and gloves to prevent exposure. Use a disinfectant to clean the area.
You may have heard about Leptospirosis outbreaks in incidences of floods. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by Leptospira that can be transmitted by rodents and other infected animals. This disease can be found anywhere in the world. Infection may occur if an open wound or mucus membrane comes into contact with the urine of the infected animal. Water, soil, or food may be contaminated by the Leptospira bacteria. A person may also contract this disease when he or she ingests contaminated fluids and food.
Symptoms of Leptospirosis include high-grade fever, jaundice, abdominal pain, headache, vomiting, red eyes, and rashes. To prevent leptospirosis, people should avoid wading through floodwaters. Boots, gloves, and other protective gears should be worn when coming into contact with soil or water that is possibly contaminated with the urine of rodents and animals. It’s also a good practice to seek the help of pest control professionals to get rid of any disease-carrying rodents at home.
Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCM)
Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis is a viral infection that can be transmitted by a house mouse. A person may become infected when he comes into contact with the droppings, saliva, or urine of the infected mouse by breathing contaminated dust or touching a tainted area. It is also possible to get the infection when you get bitten by the infected rodent. This infection can also occur worldwide. A pregnant woman who gets infected with Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis may pass on the disease to her unborn child.
The symptoms to watch out for are fever, weakness, nausea and vomiting, headache, loss of appetite, sore throat, testicular pain, chest pain, and parotid pain. The disease can also lead to meningitis, encephalitis, and meningoencephalitis, a condition where the brain and meninges become inflamed.
To prevent this disease, address rodent infestation problems at home. When you clean rodent-infested areas, use protective gloves. Avoid inhalation of dust by not sweeping the affected area. The best way to clean it is by using a disinfectant or a bleach solution to prevent stirring up dust in the air.