Rodents are carrier of various types of diseases some of which will depend upon the species. These diseases can be either
viral, or bacterial. Contamination to human can often occur through bites, contact with faecal deposits, contaminated water
source or food. They can even find their way to the human organism through parasites a that use both humans and Durham rodents as
hosts such as ticks and fleas.
Different types of North Carolina rodent diseases
• The plague – this is a bacterial infection caused the bacterium Yersinia pestis. It is often transmitted from rodents to human by fleas, direct contact or bites. The plague can be distinguished between pneumonic, septicemic, or bubonic with symptoms varying from headache, fever, swollen glands, abdominal pain, bleeding organs, cough, extreme exhaustion, etc. and can be attributed to one or all of the types of plague. This disease is quite serious and if not treated adequately can cause death.
• Lassa fever – This is a rat-born disease common to West Africa. It is a viral disease that results in fever, muscular inflammation and pain. Complication with Lassa fever induces deafness, hypotension, anuria, hypovolemia and in extreme cases death.
• Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCM) – a viral infectious disease that is often transmitted from a Durham mouse or other rodents infected with the virus. It causes individuals to have abnormal levels of lymphocytes affecting membranes of the brain and spinal cord and the cerebrospinal fluid.
• Rate-bite fever – An infectious diseases contracted from the bite of a rodent which causes inflammation, open sores, and vomiting. If untreated, the disease can be fatal.
• Tularemia– Transmitted to humans through tick and fleas, skin contact with the infected North Carolina animal, contaminated food or water. Tularemis symptoms vary and the severity can be mild to life-threatening. There are many different forms of tularemia and all have the common symptom of very high fever.
• Mouse pox – This disease has recently been discovered and is specific to mice. It is a highly contagious viral disease and will often affect the entire body of the Durham mouse. The symptom includes a lack of energy, inflammation of the eyes, a hunched posture, and a swollen skin with wounds appearing on the surface. Currently there is no treatment for such an infection which can be diagnosed through blood test of the mouse.
• Skin disorder – This is a very common problem in mice and other North Carolina rodents which affects the skin or fur resulting in skin inflammation or fur loss.
Rodents are carriers of various types of diseases beside those noted, other diseases associated with Durham rodents include: Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, leptospirosis, haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, Omskhaemorrhagic fever. Some of these diseases are common to all species of rodents while others may be specific to a particular species. The categories of diseases vary and those presented here are not exhaustive.
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