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What diseases do rats carry?

Among the most pressing concerns associated with a rodent infestation is their ability to carry and transmit hazardous diseases. Diseases spread by rodents can be transmitted through direct exposure to infected droppings, urine, or bites, as well as indirectly via infected ticks, mites, or fleas. Globally, there are over 35 diseases known to be spread by rats and mice. Some of the most common rodent-transmitted diseases in Anaheim include:

  • Salmonellosis
  • Hantavirus
  • Colorado tick fever
  • Lyme disease
  • Rat-bite fever
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis 
  • Bubonic plague
  • Leptospirosis
Doctor speaking to patient with rat bite

Common Rodent-Borne Illnesses in Anaheim

Rodents are known across the world for spreading disease. Though they are capable of spreading a wide range of illnesses, there are just four rodent-borne illnesses that are a particular cause for concern here in Anaheim:

  • Bubonic Plague: This infamous disease, often associated with domestic rats, is transmitted by fleas that have previously fed on infected rats before transmitting the disease to humans. While relatively rare today, it remains a serious health concern.
  • Rat-bite Fever: Transmitted through bites or scratches from an infected rodent, whether alive or deceased, rat-bite fever poses a considerable health risk. From fever and vomiting to headaches and joint pain, this illness can become very severe. 
  • Hantavirus: Predominantly found in the urine and feces of deer mice, hantavirus can induce symptoms ranging from fever and chills to body aches. In severe cases or without proper treatment, it may progress to cause shortness of breath and kidney failure.
  • Salmonella: Rodents, as they traverse various surfaces, carry dirt and bacteria that can contaminate food surfaces. Salmonella, notorious for causing food poisoning, manifests through severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and other severe symptoms.

How Do Rodents Contaminate Food?

Rodents pose a significant threat to food safety as they can easily contaminate food sources. Their constant movement across surfaces leaves traces of dirt, bacteria, and feces, contaminating the surroundings and edibles they encounter. Whether it’s through direct contact with food items or the deposition of droppings and urine in storage areas, rodents can swiftly compromise the integrity of food, rendering it unsafe for consumption.

Signs of Rodent-Borne Illnesses

Whether transmitted through direct human contact or indirectly via fleas and ticks, these diseases encompass a spectrum of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. Of particular concern are symptoms such as shortness of breath, muscle pains, fever, headaches, ulcers, dizziness, and abdominal issues like vomiting or nausea. If you suspect exposure to rodents and notice any of these symptoms, seeking medical advice from a professional is crucial. If you suspect you have an infestation, consult a rodent control professional to have the rodents removed before they can endanger your health.

What Diseases Do Rats Carry in Anaheim? Serving Yorba Linda & Anaheim

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