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What Diseases can Rats Spread To Humans?

Rats are not just a nuisance, as they can cause a variety of diseases to humans. They are an active host for a wide range of diseases, parasites, and infections that can potentially lead to significant health consequences. While most of the disease-causing pathogens associated with rats are transmitted through their droppings and urine, some can also be transmitted by contact with their fleas and through their bite. In this article, we will look at what diseases can rats potentially spread to humans and how to prevent them.

Types of Diseasesrats Can Spread

There are a wide variety of diseases that rats can spread to humans, some of which include:


Salmonellosis is a bacterial infection caused by the Salmonella bacteria found in the droppings of rats and other rodents. Symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, and vomiting. To reduce the risk of getting salmonellosis, it is important to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after coming into contact with rat feces.

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Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a severe and often fatal disease that can be contracted by humans who come into contact with the urine, droppings or saliva of infected rodents, particularly rats. Symptoms of HPS include fever, muscle ache and fatigue. The best way to avoid getting HPS is by avoiding contact with rats.


Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease caused by contact with water containing the urine of infected animals, such as rats. Symptoms of leptospirosis include fever, headaches, chills, and muscle aches. To reduce the risk of leptospirosis, it is important to avoid contact with rat urine and to wear gloves when cleaning up rat droppings.

Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCM)

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM) is a viral infection caused by contact with the saliva, urine or feces of infected rodents, particularly rats. Symptoms may include fever, headache and nausea. The best way to avoid getting infected is to prevent contact with rats.

Rat Bite Fever

Rat Bite Fever is a bacterial disease that can be contracted through a rat bite or scratch. Symptoms may include fever, rash, headaches, vomiting, and joint pain. To prevent this, it is important to avoid contact with rats and to seek immediate medical attention if bitten or scratched by a rat.

Preventing Rat-Borne Diseases

To avoid getting sick from rat-borne diseases, it is important to practice good hygiene and sanitation. Here are some tips:

Keep your home clean

Regularly clean your home, including sweeping and mopping the floors and surfaces. This will help remove any droppings or urine that may have been left behind by rodents.

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Seal up any entry points

Look around your home for any potential entry points, such as cracks and crevices, and make sure to seal these up. This will help to prevent rats and other rodents from coming in.

Store food properly

Properly store food in tightly sealed containers and never leave food out in the open. This will help to discourage rodents from entering your home.

Keep outdoor areas clean

Keep outdoor areas, such as gardens and lawns, clean and tidy. This will help to discourage rodents from entering your home.

People Also Ask

Can you get sick from rat droppings?

Yes, you can get sick from the droppings of infected rats, which can contain various bacteria, viruses and parasites.

How do you get rid of rats in your home?

To get rid of rats in your home, you can use traps and/or bait, seal off any potential entry points, and make sure to store food properly.

Can you get sick from being near a rat?

Yes, you can get sick from being near a rat as some of the diseases they can spread, such as salmonellosis and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, can be transmitted through their saliva, urine, and droppings.

What happens if you get bit by a rat?

If you get bit by a rat, you may contract a bacterial infection, such as rat-bite fever. It is important to seek medical attention if you are bit by a rat.

Do rats carry rabies?

Rats are not known to carry rabies, although it is still important to take precautionary measures to avoid coming into contact with them.

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Final Words

It is important to be aware of the risks associated with rats and the diseases that they can transmit to humans. By practicing good hygiene and sanitation, avoiding contact with rats, and sealing off entry points into your home, you can help to prevent the spread of rat-borne diseases.