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  • USA Wildlife Removal Education Guide - What diseases do rats carry?

What diseases do rats carry?

Rats carry a number of different diseases that can infect humans, through contact with saliva, droppings, bites and even scratches. Rat bite fever is very common, and it is one of the first symptoms that a bacteria or parasitic infection has occurred. Other diseases that rats carry include; Leptospirosis, Lymphocytic viral infections, Black plague, and allergens. Leptospirosis is one of the commonest bacteria infections spread by rats, and this is also referred to as the “Weil’s disease”. The disease is mostly spread when one consumes food that has been contaminated with urine or fecal droppings of rats, or via physical contact with such substance. Headache, vomiting, fever and muscle aches are some of the earliest symptoms of Leptospirosis in humans. Renal and liver failure may also occur in individuals with aggravated Leptospirosis infection.

Most individuals who suffer from Lymphocytic viral infections may not witness any symptoms, but the disease can cause severe damages to the kidney and liver. The Bubonic plague, also known as “Black plague” has been one of the most historical diseases carried by rats for centuries. This disease is not transmitted directly through contact with rats but can be transmitted when fleas carrying the disease from rats bite humans. The Black plague caused by rats was believed to have killed millions during the middle ages when there was no cure for the infection. The Hantavirus disease is similar to the Black plague in terms of symptoms, and it is a disease that can cause serious damages to vital organs, including the brain, kidney, and liver.

There are a wide range of allergic reactions that can be triggered when humans inhale shed hair, dander and some fragments of rat droppings. The inhalation of these substances may cause an individual to sneeze uncontrollably. Though , most allergic reactions triggered by rats may disappear on their own, some may require the use of antibiotics or some viral treatments to disappear. Salmonellosis is another infection or disease that can be transmitted by rat , especially through the consumption of food or water contaminated by rat droppings or urine. One of the most recently discovered diseases transmitted by rats is the “Lasser fever”. Lasser fever is transmitted through the consumption of food contaminated by rat feces or urine and it causes extreme high temperature fever, vomiting and headache. It is believed that secondary diseases transmitted from rat by fleas, and ticks can be easily treated than diseases spread through contamination of rat droppings , urine and saliva.

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