Rat diseases symptoms in humans

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The symptoms that you will be faced with if a rat has infected you with something will very much depend on what the rat has infected you with. Just because you have come in contact with a rat doesn't mean that you will be suffering from a disease that the rat could be carrying, but you can't rule that out. That's what makes working and living alongside rats so dangerous - you just never know. You never can tell.



A lot of the diseases that rats pass on will have human symptoms that are very similar to cold and flu-like symptoms. This will mean symptoms such as headaches, fever, chills, muscle aches and pains, nausea and vomiting, an upset stomach, and more. Leptospirosis, for example, often comes with either no symptoms at all, or flu-like symptoms in its earlier stages, and as it gets more dangerous than that, left undiagnosed and untreated, is when it becomes life-threatening.

In the majority of cases - up to ninety percent (it is believe) - leptospirosis just results in a few cold and flu-like symptoms, and the victim is not any the wiser that they have suffered with leptospirosis at all. Rats often spread diseases such as leptospirosis via their urine. They spray the urine and this contaminates food and water sources, as well as things such as bedding, floors, walls, attic insulation, curtains, plates, glasses, dog and cat bowls, and a lot more. If a rat were to run across your plate on the floor, for example, the bacteria that causes the leptospirosis condition could be left there. When you then put a sandwich on that plate, and then transfer the sandwich to your mouth, you could potentially ingest the bacteria.

Rats are also dangerous in the sense that they can bring other insects and critters into the home, which can also pass on diseases not only to you, but to your household pets too. We're sure you don't want you or your human family members to become ill, and for most households, the pets come into the same category - part of the family. Infected ticks, for example, could easily transmit something like Lyme Disease or Colorado Tick Fever, also known as CTF. The spring and summer months are the worst for this - these are the months that ticks are most prominent. Again, just like many of the other rat diseases symptoms in humans, chills, fever, headaches, and more accompany the onset of the disease. These usually hit around a week after the initial infection - a bite from an infected tick - but it can start as little as one day afterwards, and can take as long as 14 days.

Western parts of the United States, as well as Canada, are prone to infected Mountain wood ticks, which are the worst culprits, but ticks are a concern all over the world. They are just another reason why having rats in your building is a very bad thing, whether it's a commercial or a residential property. Hantavirus is another disease that can be transmitted from rats to humans, and this again has symptoms very much like the flu. If the symptoms are ignored / mistaken for colds or flu, however, things can get take a much more dangerous turn, resulting in breathing difficulties and, if left untreated further, death.

In short, there are a lot of diseases that come with rats, and many of them have symptoms that you wouldn't necessarily pay much attention to at the beginning. Can you really be so sure that what you are suffering from is the flu? Or could you have rats in your home that you haven’t spotted yet?

Go back to the Rats in the Attic home page.

If you have any questions or comments, e-mail me at david@attic-rat.com