Rodents and the Health Risk they Pose

Humans seem to have an instinctive aversion to rats and mice. No surprise, given that wild rodents pose an extreme health risk to people. From the Black Death to the hantavirus, rodents have played a role in spreading some hazardous diseases.

However, rodents pose a much less significant risk because of improved sanitation procedures than they once did. That has led people to wrongly assume that rats and mice are not a health risk. However, they remain very dangerous.

Rodents can spread over 35 diseases. They may transmit them in several ways. They can directly spread them to people through bites or scratches. They can contaminate food sources. They can act as vectors for disease by hosting parasites like ticks, mites, and fleas, which may spread to humans.

Diseases directly transmitted by rodents include:

  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
  • Rat Bite Fever
  • Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome
  • Salmonellosis
  • Lassa Fever
  • Leptospirosis
  • South American Arenaviruses
  • Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis
  • Tulameria
  • Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever
  • Plague

    Disease indirectly transmitted by rodents include:

  • Babesiosis
  • Lyme Disease
  • West Nile Virus
  • Powassan Virus
  • Cutaneous Leishmaniasis
  • Murine Typhus
  • Scrub Typhus
  • Sylvatic Typhus
  • Rickettsialpox
  • Colorado Tick Fever
  • La Crosse Encephalitis
  • Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever
  • Relapsing Fever
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis

    They are particularly dangerous because they spread diseases in multiple ways. It is not enough to avoid rat bites. You can be exposed if you handle infected dead rates, have indirect contact through parasites, eat food or drink contaminated with urine, saliva, hair, or feces, and even breathing air that is contaminated with urine or feces contaminated dust.

    This wide range of diseases comes with an equally wide range of symptoms and complications. Hantavirus can cause potentially fatal respiratory complications, so death is an authentic potential result of rodent exposure. You can also suffer long-term health problems from rodent-borne disease.

    In addition, rodent-borne diseases can help spread pandemic conditions. The best-known example of this is probably plague. However, what may be more alarming is that some of these diseases can be distributed in human-to-human contact. That means that rodents could be the vector for the next pandemic event, making it critical to keep your premises as rodent-free as possible.

    If you want to keep your family safe from the health risks posed by rodents, prevention is the key. Flickā€™s SMART Digital Pest Control system helps you spot early rodent presence, targets those rodents and is a key to helping prevent infestation.