Mice related health hazards & diseases

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Mice related health hazards & diseases
Mice can transmit serious diseases to humans. (Little mouse image by Multiart from Fotolia.com)

The common house mouse (Mus musculus) is native of south western Asia, but due to its high adaptability, it is found today all around the world where people have settled, according to The Pied Piper. Mice can carry many bacteria and parasites, and transmit them through their droppings and urine when looking for food, according to Pest Control Canada. Therefore, never leave food out and always store cereals in sealed containers, advises the University of Waterloo.

Some of the most common diseases transmitted by mice are leptospirosis, food poisoning by salmonella, bruscellosis and Lyme disease.

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Salmonella

Salmonellosis is a type of gastroenteritis or food poisoning caused by the bacteria salmonella, according to Northampton Borough Council. Its main symptoms are fever, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and cramps, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

Look for mouse droppings and damaged food packaging, if contamination through mice is the suspected cause of your infection, suggests the University of Waterloo.

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by motile bacteria (genus Leptospires), which can attack mice and other animals sometimes not fully developing in their bodies, according to Provet Healthcare Information.

However, if the humans eat food contaminated by urine and droppings of infected mice, the disease is likely to be severe. When not treated with antibiotics, it can cause renal failure and other serious conditions, according to Provet Healthcare Information.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted by ticks of the genus Ixodes, which are carried by mice and larger animals, according to the website The Pied Piper.

When mice ticks contaminated by the bacteria get in contact with human skin, the cycle of transmission is closed. Then, a circular rash with a white centre develops in the affected area, followed by fever, headache and painful joints. In 1999, a vaccine to prevent Lyme disease was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to The Pied Piper.

Brucellosis

Bacteria of the genus Brucella can affect mice and other animals, causing a disease called brucellosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in humans, brucellosis can cause symptoms similar to the flu, which includes fever, sweats, headaches, fatigue and back pains.

However, this disease is uncommon in the U.S., with only 100 to 200 cases reported each year, according to Medline Plus.

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