Dangers of Mouse Droppings

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Mice look innocent, but their droppings can be deadly.

Disease is the biggest danger of mouse droppings. It is important to avoid having mouse droppings in your home by keeping your living space free of mice and rats. If you have a rodent problem in your home, contact an exterminator to have the problem eliminated.

  1. Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome

    • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is an infection spread through mouse droppings that is fatal in some cases. Infection is transmitted through direct contact with rodent urine and droppings. Hantavirus also is spread through breathing in dust contaminated by rodent droppings or urine. The cotton rat, rice rat, deer mouse and white-footed mouse in North and South America are responsible for the spread of hantavirus. Initial symptoms include fever, fatigue and muscle aches. Later symptoms include a shortness of breath and coughing. The mortality rate of hantavirus is 38 percent.

    Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis (LCM)

    • Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis (LCM) is an infectious disease that comes from mice and other rodents. It usually is spread by a common house mouse. Humans contract the virus through exposure to mouse saliva, droppings or nesting materials. LCM is most prevalent in Europe, North and South America, Japan and Australia. Symptoms begin with fever, lack of appetite, muscle aches, headache and vomiting. People infected with LCM also may experience a cough and chest or joint pain. LCM is rarely fatal, with a mortality rate of less than 1 percent.

    Salmonellosis

    • Salmonellosis is an infection caused by drinking water or eating food contaminated by mice or rat droppings. Salmonellosis occurs around the world. Symptoms include fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Medical tests must be performed to determine whether the symptoms are derived from salmonellosis. Infections normally pass within five to seven days and do not require medical treatment unless dehydration occurs.

    Rat Bite Fever

    • Rat bite fever is an infectious disease that occurs around the world and not only is caused by rats but mice as well. Rat bite fever can be contracted through a scratch or bite from a rodent and by eating food or drinking water contaminated by rodent droppings. Symptoms start with vomiting, fever, muscle and joint pain and a headache. Within days, a rash will appear on the feet and hands and swelling of the joints often occurs. Antibiotics are effective in treating rat bite fever, but this infection can be fatal without treatment.

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