HEALTH RISKS and CONCERNS

Pests and rodents can affect your health. The fact remains - pests and rodents can have harmful effects upon your health and your family's health. It is important to fully understand the dangers stemming from these types of infestations. It is unsettling to think of us sharing our homes with these pests because of the serious threats they pose.

  •  Hantavirus Infection with hantavirus can progress to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), which can be fatal. People become infected through contact with hantavirus-infected rodents or their urine and droppings. The Sin Nombre hantavirus, first recognized in 1993, is one of several New World hantaviruses circulating in the US. Old World hantaviruses, found in Asia, can cause Hemorrhagic. Rodent control in and around the home remains the primary strategy for preventing hantavirus infection. All cases of Hantavirus infection are reported to the CDC.
    Content Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD)

  •  Histoplasmosis Histoplasmosis is a disease caused by the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. The fungus lives in the environment, usually in association with large amounts of bird or bat droppings. Lung infection can occur after a person inhales airborne, microscopic fungal spores from the environment; however, many people who inhale the spores do not get sick. The symptoms of histoplasmosis are similar to pneumonia, and the infection can sometimes become serious if it is not treated.
    Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD)

  •  Raccoon Round Worm


    Baylisascaris infection is caused by a roundworm found in raccoons. This roundworm can infect people as well as a variety of other animals, including dogs. Human infections are rare, but can be severe if the parasites invade the eye (ocular larva migrans), organs (visceral larva migrans) or the brain (neural larva migrans). Image: Left: Embryonated B. procyonis egg, showing the developing larva inside. Right: Larva of B. procyonis hatching from an egg. Center: Raccoons are hosts for the roundworms that can cause Baylisascaris infection.
    Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD). Photo Credit: DPDx, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

  •  Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCM) Lymphocytic choriomeningitis, or LCM, is a rodent-borne viral infectious disease caused by lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), a member of the family Arenaviridae that was initially isolated in 1933. The primary host of LCMV is the common house mouse, Mus musculus. Infection in house mouse populations may vary by geographic location, though it is estimated that 5% of house mice throughout the United States carry LCMV and are able to transmit virus for the duration of their lives without showing any sign of illness. Other types of rodents, such as hamsters, are not the natural reservoirs but can become infected with LCMV from wild mice at the breeder, in the pet store, or home environment. Humans are more likely to contract LCMV from house mice, but infections from pet rodents have also been reported.

    LCMV infections have been reported in Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Japan, and may occur wherever infected rodent hosts of the virus are found. The disease has historically been underreported, often making it difficult to determine incidence rates or estimates of prevalence by geographic region. Several serologic studies conducted in urban areas have shown that the prevalence of LCMV antibodies in human populations range from 2% to 5%. Additionally, pregnancy-related infection has been associated with congenital hydrocephalus, chorioretinitis, and mental retardation.
    Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD)

  •  West Nile Virus West Nile virus (WNV) is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. You can reduce your risk of being infected with WNV by using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing to prevent mosquito bites. There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent WNV infection. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms. Less than 1% of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurologic illness.
    Content Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD)