More than being a major nuisance to homeowners’ properties, rodent infestation is also accompanied by the risk of contracting a number of infectious diseases. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), for instance, is a rare lung disease brought about by the hantavirus, which can be directly transmitted by rodents. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website, even people who are seemingly healthy can be at risk for HPS.
To minimize such hazards, homeowners must immediately call on rodent control service professionals like Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control to deal with the infestation in and around their homes. Not only will these professionals successfully remove pests from the property, they can also advise homeowners on how to prevent future infestations. After all, diseases like HPS are not only a threat to a person’s health, but can also prove to be fatal.
In fact, a CNN report by Phil Gast confirms the death of one of the two Californian campers who contracted HPS during their stay at Yosemite National Park. The deceased was an unidentified 37-year-old man from the San Francisco Bay area, while the other victim, a woman in her 40s from Southern California, survived. Both visitors were suspected to have been exposed to mouse fecal droppings or urine while vacationing.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) said that the two stayed at the Curry Village, a popular camp site. The victims were billeted in separate locations in the village which contains about 400 canvas tent and wooden cabins. Meanwhile, officials focused on the deer mouse, common in the region, as the likely disease vector.
Dr. Vicki Kramer, chief of CDPH’s vector-borne disease department, said that rodents can infest several of these structures, as deer mice can get through a hole as small as a quarter of an inch in diameter. Aside from deer mice, the common carrier of hantavirus in the U.S. are cotton rats, rice rats, and white-footed mice, according to the CDC. The virus is spread to people by inhalation of airborne contaminants from the rodents’ urine, droppings, and saliva.
Aside from HPS, other serious or fatal diseases transmitted by rodents include leptospirosis, lassa fever, and plague. The latter can be contracted from the bite of a flea from an infected ground squirrel or chipmunk. To reduce the hazards that accompany infestation of such animals, wildlife handling professionals can be called in to employ mouse, rat, chipmunk, squirrel repellent measures to keep these potential disease vectors away from human domiciles.