Rats are a common pest that can cause a lot of damage to properties and their residents. They reproduce quickly, and if left unchecked, they can take over the entire place.
The presence of rats in different industries such as construction, manufacturing, and healthcare can also be detrimental to human health.
Take a look at 6 most dangerous diseases you can get directly from contact with rats.
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a rare but potentially fatal respiratory disease caused by the Hantaan virus that causes flu-like symptoms like fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, nausea and fatigue. It is spread through contact with rodent droppings and urine. The virus can be transmitted from person to person and can cause death within one to six weeks of exposure.
Rat-bite fever is a rare disease that affects the central nervous system. It is caused by rat bites that carry the bacteria. The symptoms of rat-bite fever include headache, chills, fever, muscle pain, and joint pain.
In most cases of rat-bite fever, all symptoms go away within ten days of the bite. In some cases, however, there may be permanent damage to the central nervous system or other organs like the heart and lungs.
Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis is a rare disease that affects the brain, spinal cord, and other body organs. An infection in the lymphatic system causes this disease.
Meanwhile, the bacteria that cause the infection are carried by rats and spread through bites or scratches.
The disease typically affects children under the age of 5, but adults can also get it. The symptoms usually start with fever, headache, stiff neck, vomiting, and sometimes a rash on their skin.
The best way to prevent this disease is to get vaccinated before you are exposed to any risk factors for contracting this illness.
Leptospirosis is a dangerous bacterial disease that can be contracted through contact with the urine of an infected animal, such as rats and dogs.
It can cause flu-like symptoms, jaundice, kidney failure and even death in severe cases. Currently, there are no vaccines or medications to prevent or cure it.
In most cases, you may not encounter a rat face-face. However, even if you don’t come in contact with them, there’s still a possibility of getting infected indirectly.
Rats are responsible for the spread of plague by carrying the bacteria from one location to another. The plague is a widespread disease that is caused by bacteria and is transmitted from person to person through fleas, droplets, and direct contact.
The rats are also responsible for spreading it through direct contact with an infected person’s body fluids, such as saliva or blood.
Cutaneous Leishmaniasis by rats is a disease that is transmitted to the human host through the bite wound.
The most common symptoms of cutaneous Leishmaniasis are skin ulcers that often cause pain and discomfort during walking or standing; redness followed by bleeding; swelling around the ulcers; fever; fatigue; weight loss; and an enlarged lymph node in the neck or arms.
Controlling Rat Infestation
Rats are a common pest in most industries, and the food industry is no exception. The rats are attracted to food storage and processing facilities because of their high-protein content. They can also cause damage to the facilities by gnawing on wires or pipes, contaminating foods, and spreading diseases.
Therefore, it is important to know how to identify the signs of a rat infestation to avoid it.
- Rat droppings found near food or water sources.
- Unexpected holes in ceilings and walls.
- Rat teeth marks on packaging materials like boxes, cans, bags, etc.
Once these signs appear, you must immediately call pest control services to mitigate the problem. They have several ways of controlling rats, including traps, poison bait, rat-proofing, and baiting stations. These experts can assess the situation to take the necessary action.