Rats: Health implications of having this rodent within and around your house

0
98

Rats

The black plague which is also known as the bubonic plague is arguably one of the most historically dangerous rat-borne diseases. 

Rats are not as harmless as they seem.

It is true that we rarely see people getting sick as a result of having rats in their home, but that doesn't mean there are no cases at all.

As a matter of fact, the Centre for Disease Control says that more than ten million people have fallen ill, with a good number of them dying, from rodent-borne diseases in the past century alone.

And if this is true as it is believed to be, then the importance of highlighting the dangers of rats and mice within and around the house cannot be overemphasized.

Explicitly, Rat bites and scratches can result in disease and rat-bite fever. Additionally, the spread of leptospirosis, which can result in liver and kidney damage is caused by rat urine.

The disease can also be contracted through handling or inhalation of scat. And complications include cardiovascular problems as well as renal and liver failure.

In addition to the dangers of having rats around, is Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV). LCMV a viral infectious disease that can be transmitted through the saliva and urine of rats.

Though not as serious as the name might imply, but enough to say that some individuals experience long-term effects of the disease, while others experience only temporary discomfort.

However, apart from the above diseases, there are also other health illnesses that can be easily associated with rats and other rodents.

Read on to see other diseases that can be directly transmitted by rats

1. Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)

HPS is a viral disease that is transmitted by the rice rat.

Surprisingly, the disease can be spread through any of these three ways:  inhaling dust that is contaminated with rat urine or droppings, direct contact with rat feces or urine, and through the bite of rat.

2. Leptospirosis

This disease, which comes with a lot of bacteria, can be transmitted by coming into contact with infected water.

In other words, by swimming, walking or drinking a rat contaminated water.

3. Rat-bite fever

This disease may be transmitted through a bite, scratch or contact with a dead rat.

4. Salmonellosis.

This disease can be caused by consuming food or water that is contaminated by rat feces bacteria.

5. Lyme disease

Though some scientists claim that Lyme disease is caused by black-legged thick, others have also argued that rats and mice are also carriers of the disease.

And it is said to be transmitted through rat bite. Symptoms of the disease include the appearance of skin lesions, fever, and headache.

Here are other diseases that indirectly transmitted by rats

1. Black Plague

The black plague which is also known as the bubonic plague is arguably one of the most historically dangerous rat-borne diseases. 

Still blacklisted for the havoc it wrecked during the Middle Ages, which killed millions, the disease is transmitted by fleas. 

On the other hand, fleas contract it in the process of taking a blood meal from rats and mice.

2. Colorado Tick Fever

Like plague disease, Colorado tick fever is a viral disease known to be transmitted through the bite of a tick that has taken a blood meal from a bushy-tailed woodrat.

3. Cutaneous Leishmaniasis

This disease is a parasite that is transmitted to a person by the bite of an infected sand fly that has fed on a wild woodrat.

 

Seven easy ways to keep rats away from your home

  1. Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.

  2. Screen vents and openings to chimneys.

  3. Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home, using caulk, steel wool or a combination of both.

  4. Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.

  5. Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.

  6. Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.

  7. Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains that provide the perfect breeding site for pests.

ALSO READ: What you probably didn't know about man's best friend