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What are the Dangers of Rodent Droppings?

By C. Daw
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are many different illnesses and diseases that can infect a human from substances contaminated from rodent droppings. Most of them come from various mice and rats, but other rodent feces also carry dangers to people. Viruses are born through the droppings, and then carried to the human body through touching or breathing the contaminates. Some of these illnesses can be medically harmful to people, while others can cause death. There are four common viruses that can be transmitted from rodent droppings to humans which are considered to be harmful, or fatal, in many cases.

The most common virus that can be obtained through rodent droppings is Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. This can be contracted by dust from infected droppings, as well as from coming into direct contact with them. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is a medical condition that can cause death in most people that are diagnosed with it. Even though this condition is rare compared to others, it is potentially the worst because a person's immune system is not equipped to fight the virus off.

Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome is the second virus that rat and mice droppings can produce. This condition is also contracted through dust particles and direct contact. The common symptoms associated with this medical condition are a high fever, rash, headaches, backaches, abdominal pains, and blurred vision. Even though this virus is not deadly in general conditions, it has been known to cause fatalities when certain criteria are met.

The third type of virus that can be contracted from rodent droppings is the Lassa fever. Dust particles and direct contact spreads this type of virus to humans. The symptoms of this virus include head and chest pains, cough, sore throat, abdominal pains, vomiting, diarrhea, and facial swelling. During a Lassa fever epidemic, the death rate is around 50%, but in normal circumstances very few people die from this condition.

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis is the final virus that can be passed through dust particles or direct contact. In this case, the rodent droppings cause a medical condition that causes a viral infection to form around the brain and spinal cord of the person infected. Some common symptoms associated with this virus are muscle aches, headaches, lack of appetite, fever, and nausea. Infant deaths are high when this virus is contracted, but people with a normal level of health usually only experience a flu-like illness.

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Discussion Comments
By Forterdom — On Dec 15, 2013
Uncontrolled? That could have become an unhealthy situation, Ariestack. What kind of rodent control did you do as a follow up? How did you clean the droppings?
By Ariestack — On Dec 15, 2013

This brings back memories of when my wife and I found mouse droppings in various nooks and crannies in our basement. We ended up trapping several mice. They had been chewing our squash and actually bringing in walnuts from the outside.

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