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▼ Rodent Allergens

 

Rodents (mice and rats) can occur in both home and work environments. Exposure to rodents can come either from

keeping them as pets or from their presence as pests in the home. Veterinarians, laboratory technicians, etc., can

become allergic to rodents due to intensive exposure to these animals in their daily work. Rodents can also be a

problem in schools.  The sources of rodent allergen include the rodent urine and skin flakes.

The rodent's urine has a high concentration of protein, which is the primary allergen to humans. The urine is often

sprayed rather than deposited, thereby increasing human exposure. After the urine dries, the urinary proteins

become airborne and are inhaled by humans, leading to allergic symptoms. To keep your living and working environment

free of rodent infestation, the following precautionary measures can be followed:

Store food in airtight containers.

• Seal all cracks in walls in order to prevent their entry.

• Keep pet rodents in filtered cages.         

• Wash yourself well after touching the pet rodent.       

ALERT ! The deer mouse and white-footed mouse carry the Hantavirus, which causes a disease known as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). You can become infected from this deadly disease through contaminated dust from the mice's droppings, urine and/or saliva in and out of your home. Once exposed to the Hantavirus, signs of sickness can take up to five weeks to appear. Initial symptoms are similar to that of the flu:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Nausea and vomiting

After the initial symptoms, you will start to experience a shortness of breath and coughing. This is an indication that the disease is rapidly progressing and you need to immediately seek hospitalization.

The final stages of the disease result in internal bleeding and respiratory failure. Over half the cases of HPS have resulted in death.

Be Wary of HPS & Understand How to Avoid It, But Don't Be as Scared as a Mouse of It

For the reason of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome alone, you are very wise to take commonsense measures to eliminate and keep rodents out of your home. This is especially important during fall and winter, when mice appreciate the shelter and warmth inside your walls as much as you do.

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