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Health Risks: What are Chances of Getting Sick from Mouse Droppings

chances of getting sick from mouse droppings
Written by David Johnson

What are the chances of getting sick from mouse droppings? Here is all you need to know about mouse droppings and becoming sick.

Introduction

Everyone would agree that having mouse droppings in a place of residence is unsanitary. Of course, unsanitary things always have an adverse effect on human health. Hence, it becomes important to know the chances of getting sick from mouse droppings.

Can mouse droppings make one sick?

The straightforward answer to this is yes. A mouse is not usually a pathogen but a vector. A pathogen is an organism that causes diseases. Examples include bacteria, viruses, protozoa, etc. On the other hand, a vector is an organism that carries a pathogen around thereby increasing the chances of a person getting sick.

mice in trash

The chances of getting sick from mouse droppings are huge as viruses and bacteria are threats to life. Risking such is not the best. Hence, learning about the droppings is highly important.

A mouse is a carrier of different bacteria and diseases. The mouse has no harm but their poops can carry a lot of diseases and transmit them to people and their pets. Although the chances of becoming sick from fresh rat poopare low, however coming in contact with their droppings will increase the chance.

What are the dangers and chances of getting sick from mouse droppings?

Basically, the diseases of mouse droppings are spread via food contamination or inhaling infected air. There are two major diseases that are common with mouse droppings. They are;

  1. Salmonellosis
  2. Hantavirus

Mouse droppings also cause other possible health conditions like lymphocytic choriomeningitis and hemorrhagic fever. Also, mice have been proven to be vectors of Lassa fever (a new type of fever discovered in Africa).

Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis is as known as salmonella poisoning. The condition is caused by the bacteria, Salmonella. The disease is usually contracted through contaminated water and food. The common name for the condition is food poisoning which is a common health issue many people experience. This health condition is not fatal but the condition can become complicated if not treated urgently.

Its symptoms are;

  1. Abdominal pain
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Fever

Hantavirus

Hantavirus could be a rare condition from mouse droppings but it is a deadly one. Most times, hantavirus is airborne and it can be contacted via the inhalation of the virus. Hantavirus affects the respiratory system and several systems in the body.

A major sign is difficulty breathing. Breathing is difficult because the virus makes fluid enter the lungs. The condition needs urgent medical treatment which can include the use of a ventilator and oxygen supply.

The symptoms could include;

  1. Difficult breathing
  2. Fever
  3. Chills
  4. Fatigue
  5. Muscle pain
  6. Nausea
  7. Dizziness

Experiencing any of these symptoms and noticing mouse droppings in the house are enough reasons to consult a doctor.

Hantavirus could be deceptive such that one feels better after experiencing any of the symptoms. After some days, breathing could get worse and fresh symptoms can begin to surface. The fresh symptoms include;

  1. Cough (dry)
  2. Raspy and short breaths
  3. Gasping for breath

These second levels of symptoms require immediate medical care. If the situation is not properly addressed, the patient can die.

Read more about deseases transmitted by rodents.

The Need to clean up mouse droppings

No doubt, mouse droppings are nasty. Much more, mouse droppings imply that there are some mice living in the house. In addition to the possible health conditions from the droppings, rodents can transfer mites and ticks that spread other sicknesses. Hence, thorough cleaning is not negotiable.

The most important step in cleaning mouse droppings is to avoid direct contact with the animals or their droppings. Dried rat poops mean that the mouse had dropped the poop some moments ago. It is possible to not pay attention and mistakenly touch the poops. The next action is to thoroughly wash the hands and maybe, use a hand sanitizer after.

what are chances of getting sick from mouse droppings

How to ensure proper cleaning of mice droppings

Cleaning the room of mice droppings requires a lot of time because it may cut across every part of the house. It is great one checks every area of the house including the attic, basement, storeroom, or a dark cupboard. Expose those places to air such that the bacteria can leave and the poops can become dry.

After 30 minutes of exposure to air, wear rubber or latex hand gloves and pick the poops. Using a paper tissue or paper towel to pick the droppings is healthier. However, put the droppings in a bag, seal the bag, and dispose of it immediately.

Another healthy suggestion is to spray such areas with disinfectant. Wash those areas and beddings or linens that were in contact with the droppings (a hot wash is suggested).

NBIt is a proper thing to wear a facemask while carrying out these cleaning activities.

In the end, remove and dispose of the gloves and face masks. It is great to pull off the clothes during this cleaning process and wash them too. No measure is too much when it comes to good health. Safety is better than being sorry.

Other important measures

There are ways to prevent possible mouse droppings. They include;

  1. Block the holes and possible passages that allow the mice into the house
  2. Lighten up all dark places that could be breeding zones for mice
  3. Ensure food is in a sealed container and not in edible containers that are chewable to the mice

The above is necessary to prevent a recurring infestation and avoid another encounter with mouse droppings. Similarly, it reduces the chances of getting sick from mouse droppings.

Conclusion

Having read this, everyone would agree that mouse droppings need serious attention and should not be left alone. Of course, the act makes the house dirty but much more, it can cause people to become sick. Reduce the chances of getting sick from mouse droppings by cleaning mouse droppings up immediately after they are noticed. Carry out all the healthy steps and be farther from sicknesses.  

About the author

David Johnson

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