Here are a few of the most common diseases rats can carry and the health risks they pose to humans:
- Bubonic plague – Yes, this notorious disease from the Middle Ages is still around. Originally carried by fleas that bite the rats, this disease can pass to humans who have contact with infected rodents. Fortunately, there are treatments today that can prevent another Black Death epidemic.
- Hantavirus – This virus can be transmitted through the inhalation of dust containing contaminated urine or dropping particles, direct contact with rat waste or a rat bite. The disease resembles the flu at first, but can quickly result in serious breathing difficulties.
- Leptospirosis – This is a disease transmitted by coming into contact with rat urine or feces. Inhalation of dropping particles may also transmit the illness. It can cause liver and kidney damage or failure and cardiovascular issues.
- Lymphocytic choriomeningitis – The virus LCMV is present in rats' saliva and urine, and is transmitted to humans through this contact. The effects in humans may range from temporary illness to long-term complications.
- Salmonellosis – This is a bacteria spread by rat feces. It is spread to humans by contaminated water or food.
If you notice signs of a rat infestation, such as droppings, chewed food or baseboards or seeing rats around your property, contact a professional exterminator right away. For more information on rat extermination in La Mesa, visit this site.