Rat diseases that affect humans

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Sadly, there are more than a few diseases that rats can transmit to humans. We’re sure they don't mean to be rather dangerous, but they are, and that’s the reality you will need to face if you have rats in your home.

If you were to get close to the rats, close enough to get either scratched or bitten by one, you could put yourself up against something called rat bite fever. It's not just rats that can pass on the bacteria that can cause this potentially deadly disease, however, gerbils and mice can also be culprits. It’s usually contracted by humans by way of contaminated food or drink. This could be something as simple as a rat running over a plate that is later used by a human to eat from. It can be passed on when you get close enough to get bitten or scratched by the rodent too, however, and it is this fact that you must remember when dealing with a rat infestation in your home.

Leptospirosis is another deadly disease that can be passed on from rats to humans, and this one is usually passed from one animal to another, or to a person, via contaminated rat urine. Once again, rat urine can be almost anywhere. Rats expel urine as they run, and they really do run everywhere around your home. There could be spots of urine everywhere from bedding to kitchen countertops, floors, and more.

For the record, leptospirosis can cause seriously deadly complications for humans, particularly those who have a weakened immune system in the first place. Kidney and liver damage are just two negative side effects of this condition, which can also be passed on via the airborne spores of the leptospirosis virus, which means that dried feces can be a problem. You shouldn’t sweep rat feces for fear of sending these spores into the air where they can then be inhaled by humans and other animals - your household pets, for example.

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis doesn't sound pleasant, and it isn't, but it is another of the diseases that rats can pass on to humans. It is a disease that affects the neurological system, with symptoms usually arising around a week after the initial infection has taken place. Pregnant women can face problems with pregnancy, including miscarriage and stillbirth, and the disease itself is spread from rat to person by way of contaminated nesting materials, poop, urine, and even saliva. This means that a rat could pass this disease on just by drinking the same water as you. The transmission could also take place in a number of other ways - via the mouth, eyes, nose, and other cavities.

Salmonellosis, otherwise known as salmonella to you and I, is another disease that you’ll probably already have encountered in your home at least once. If you’ve ever had a strange and unusual incident of food poisoning, one that you can’t explain, it might be time to start looking around and seeing if you can spot any rat holes, rat droppings, or patches of grease stains on the walls that could have been left by a rat rubbing up against it. Rats can be very dangerous to humans, and to other animals too, including your poor household pets. If you have a rat infestation, you will need to get rid of it immediately. If you need a hand doing that, get in touch for some free advice or a free quote today.

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If you have any questions or comments, e-mail me at david@attic-rat.com