Dangers Loom in the Form of Diseases Carried by Mice & Other Rodents
Mice are one of the most intrusive pests homeowners and business operators have to deal with on a regular basis.
They are great climbers and small enough that they can fit into just about any opening anywhere. Most people feel that gross, invasive feeling when a mouse is found in their home — and for good reason!.
Mice carry many different diseases that can pose significant dangers to you, your family, and your pets. Mice are found throughout the United States and North America, so knowing the most common diseases mice carry and the potential dangers they pose will help you protect yourself and your loved ones in the event that a mouse finds its way into your home or business.
Diseases Transmitted Through Mice Droppings & Urine
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a respiratory disease so severe that it can sometimes be fatal. People come into contact with hantavirus by breathing in dust that permeates the air from mice droppings and urine.
Direct contact with mice droppings and urine is another way that someone could contract hantavirus. The species of mice most commonly associated with transmitting hantavirus are the weer mouse and the white-footed mouse.
The early symptoms of hantavirus are: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, headaches, muscle aches, and dizziness. After four to 10 days, the virus progresses with coughing and shortness of breath.
Currently, there is no cure for hantavirus, so seeking treatment early is key for receiving the best care possible in order to manage the disease. If you have come in contact with mice at any point and start to experience these symptoms, it is recommended that you consult with your physician as soon as possible.
Rat-bite fever (RBF) is an infectious bacterial disease transmitted by mice and rats. This includes mice or rats kept as pets, not just those found in the wild.
Most commonly, a person can contract rat-bite fever from a rodent bite or scratch mark, but it can also be passed on by eating or drinking contaminated food with infected mice droppings or urine. It is worth noting that rat-bite fever cannot be passed from human to human.
Symptoms of rat-bite fever include: fever, headache, vomiting, joint and muscle pain, and skin rash. Rat-bite fever is treatable with antibiotics prescribed to you by a doctor.
If left untreated, rat-bite fever can become severe and even fatal. Infections in the heart, lungs, and brain can occur, so seek medical attention immediately.
Salmonella is a bacterial form of food poisoning. Much like hantavirus, the disease is passed on to humans through exposure to mice droppings. Eating or drinking contaminated food or water that contains mice droppings is the most common way of contracting salmonella.
Salmonella symptoms are: nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.
Leptospirosis is another disease that is spread through the eating or drinking of contaminated food and water, but instead of contaminated mice droppings, it is the mice urine that is the culprit.
A person can also contract leptospirosis through contaminated water or soil that comes into contact with their skin or mucous membranes inside the nose.
Leptospirosis is also commonly found in raccoons.
Symptoms of leptospirosis include headache, fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash, muscle aches, jaundice, and red eyes. Leptospirosis can be treated with antibiotics.
If left unchecked, the disease can lead to kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, and, in some cases, even death.
Other Diseases Mice Carry
While mice do carry some serious diseases within their droppings, they also can pass on others in different ways.
When hearing of Lyme disease, you immediately think of ticks.
While that is true, one of the ways Lyme is spread is also one most people don’t normally think of, and that is from mice. A tick that has been feeding on a mouse — typically white-footed mice — can pass on Lyme to a human or animal with a single bite.
Lyme can cause symptoms similar to that of the flu and can be much more severe if left untreated. Chronic arthritis, neurological, and cardiac problems are some of the most serious symptoms Lyme can cause if not treated. It is recommended to consult with your physician if bit by a tick.
Plague has been contributed to mass amounts of deaths throughout history.
Millions died in Europe during the Middle Ages from plague. While it is considerably rare to die from the disease due to modern medicine, symptoms of the plague should not be left unchecked. There are three kinds of plague: septicemic, pneumonic, and the most commonly known, bubonic.
Plague is spread from an infected flea feeding off of a host mouse or rat, which then bites a human. Handling an infected mouse can also lead to the transmission of the plague.
Symptoms of all three plagues start off the same, typically with a high fever and a feeling of severe weakness. Septicemic plague also includes abdominal pain, shock, and bleeding in the organs and skin. Pneumonic plague is the only plague that can be spread from one person to another and focuses on the respiratory system. Bubonic plague is characterized by swollen lymph nodes that become painful as well.
It is recommended to seek medical attention if you show signs of any of these symptoms.
Do Mice Carry Rabies?
Mice have never been found to be infected with the rabies virus, making the likelihood that they could pass on the virus to humans or other animals very unlikely.
There has also never been a reported case of a human contracting rabies through a mouse bite.
However, it is still wise to consult with a physician in the event of being bitten by a mouse or any other rodent.
Defend Against Mice & Diseases They Carry
Not only are mice intrusive and problematic if found in your home, they can be dangerous based on the many diseases they carry.
If you believe that you could have unwanted house guests, contact us. We will send one of our trained pest control technicians out to inspect your home, free of charge. Together, we will put a plan in place for eradicating those pesky mice once and for all.