Mouse Can be Dangerous for Your Health: Here is Why?

Mouse Can be Dangerous for Your Health

Did you ever wake up at night and went downstairs in your kitchen just to see sneaking mice roaming here and there? Have you ever felt the awfulness by just looking at mice?

The mouse is the most common obnoxious rodent found throughout the world. Mouse belongs to genus Mus, that has over 38 species. Common house mouse is known as Mus musculus in the scientific world. House mouse weighs approx 28 grams and its length ranges between 2.5-3.5 inches. Mouse loves to inhibit a warm environment and is found in all parts of the globe except Antarctica.

Discovering mice psychology has drawn jaw dropping findings. Research has brought out many structural similarities between brain structures of mice and humans. And they have shown to think and have emotions similarly as do we humans have. Pet mice can be considered as a good option for having fun but wild mice are loaded with lots of freaking diseases.

There is a long history of the mouse to be associated with the world of fiction. Lots of cartoon movies have been made on mice depicting them in versatile characters. If you have fantasised mouse as one of the cute and naughty beings then your perception is soon going to change about mice. Because seeing the mouse out of the fictional world will leave you in utter shock. If you have seen mice sneaking around then you should be alarmed. Because sighting of one mouse can mean that there are other family members of mice in your home. The mouse doesn’t invade your sweet home alone. In fact, they bring the number of diseases with them. 

These uninvited guests can bring a gift of loads of diseases for their courteous hosts. Mouse body is a home for millions of fleas and dangerous bacteria. The study has found that mice are transmitters for more than 35 diseases. Mice can give these diseases free of cost to others via contact, or when any being comes in contact with off colored droppings, urine or saliva of the mouse. Little patience with studying lists of diseases will make you cautious enough so that you can go to all possible levels to wipe out mouse from your home.

There are a lot of conventional methods to get rid of the mouse. For example, using mouse traps and baits, As time goes on, these tools are getting more and more sophisticated.

If you have a mouse infestation and looking to use some mouse traps, read my best mouse trap article to get a list of most effective traps for a reasonable price. 

Diseases Directly Transmitted by Rodents:

Nearly all of the diseases are taken after inhalation of mouse droppings or mouse urine.

  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome:

HantaVirus Pulmonary Syndrome is a viral infection mostly caught by the airborne route. Inhaling of mice droppings and urine can take the virus into one’s body. 

This virus is mostly spread by Deer mouse, Cotton rat, Rice rat, and White footed mouse. Hanta Virus is more common in North and South America.

Symptoms represent themselves within 1-8 weeks of ratal waste inhalation. Symptoms of Hantavirus include fatigue, fever and muscle aches. About 10 days after the onset of disease patients lungs become filled with fluid and he experiences extreme coughing and shortness of breath. If not treated correctly at time hanta fever can become fatal for the patient.

  • Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS):

These are groups of diseases that are caused by Bunyaviridae family of Hantaviruses. These viruses cause Korean hemorrhagic fever, epidemic hemorrhagic fever, and nephropathy epidemic. 

Bunyaviridae family includes several viruses. Hantaan virus is more prevalent in China, Russia, and Korea. Puumala virus is a more common virus in western Europe and western Russia. Dobrava virus is found constricted in the surroundings of Balkans, and Seoul virus is spread worldwide. While Saaremaa virus is native in central Europe

Viruses show up their symptoms within 1 to 2 weeks after exposure to infectious material. The patient develops symptoms of intense headaches, back and abdominal pain, fever, chills, nausea, blurred vision, flushing of the face, inflammation or redness of the eyes, or a rash. 

At a later stage, patients may develop low blood pressure, acute shock, vascular leakage, and acute kidney failure, which can cause severe fluid overload. Hantaan and Dobrava viruses cause severe symptoms than other viruses of the same kind. Complete recovery can take weeks or months.

Main carriers of the diseases are striped field mouse, brown or Norway rat, bank vole, and yellow-necked field mouse

Lassa Fever:

It is a zoonotic viral infection caused by a rat. It is found in West Africa.

Symptoms of Lassa fever occur 1-3 weeks after exposure to the virus. Mild symptoms include a slight fever, general malaise and weakness, and headache. In rare cases, hemorrhaging (in gums, eyes, or nose, as examples), respiratory distress, repeated vomiting, facial swelling, pain in the chest, back, and abdomen, and shock. Neurological problems have also been described, including hearing loss, tremors, and encephalitis. Death may occur within two weeks after symptom onset due to multi-organ failure.

The most common complication of Lassa fever is deafness.


Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira.

Without treatment, Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, respiratory distress, and even death.

In humans, Leptospirosis can cause a wide range of symptoms, including High fever, Headache, Chills, Muscle aches, Vomiting, Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), Red eyes, Abdominal pain, Diarrhea, Rash

The time between a person’s exposure to a contaminated source and becoming sick is 2 days to 4 weeks. The illness lasts from a few days to 3 weeks or longer. Without treatment, recovery may take several months.

Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis:

It is caused by the common house mouse when it transmits the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), 

LCMV infections have been reported in Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Japan, and may occur wherever infected rodent hosts of the virus are found. Additionally, the pregnancy-related infection has been associated with congenital hydrocephalus, chorioretinitis, and mental retardation.

LCMV is most commonly recognized as causing neurological disease,

Symptoms show up after 8-13 days after exposure to the mouse

Initial symptoms are fever, malaise, lack of appetite, muscle aches, headache, nausea, and vomiting. Other symptoms appearing less frequently include sore throat, cough, joint pain, chest pain, testicular pain, and parotid (salivary gland) pain.

After the 1st phase, the 2nd phase of disease occurs. They are severe as compared to the initial phase. Symptoms may consist of meningitis encephalitis, meningoencephalitis, and acute hydrocephalus


This is the most anticipated and dangerous disease that can be spread through mice.

It is spread through rock squirrels, prairie dogs, woodrats, and fox squirrels Agent

The mouse is the host for a flea that carries bacterium Yersinia pestis. Biting of flea transmits bacteria to the mammalian victim. There are three main types of plague.

Bubonic plague: The bacteria multiply in the lymph node closest to where the bacteria entered the human body. Patients develop sudden onset of fever, headache, chills, and weakness and one or more swollen, tender and painful lymph nodes (called buboes).

Septicemic plague: Skin and other tissues may turn black and die, especially on fingers, toes, and the nose. Septicemic plague can occur as the first symptom of plague or may develop from untreated bubonic plague.  

Pneumonic plague: Pneumonic plague may develop from inhaling infectious droplets or may develop from untreated bubonic or septicemic plague after the bacteria spread to the lungs. Pneumonia may cause respiratory failure and shock. Pneumonic plague is the most serious form of the disease and is the only form of plague that can be spread from person to person (by infectious droplets).

Rat bite Fever:

It is spread by rats and mice

Rat-bite fever (RBF) is an infectious disease caused by two different bacteria:

  • Streptobacillus moniliformis, the only reported bacteria that causes RBF in North America (streptobacillary RBF)
  • Spirillum minus, common in Asia (spirilla RBF, also known as sudoku)

People typically become infected with these bacteria after contact with rodents carrying the bacteria. A person can also get infected through consumption of food or water contaminated with the urine and droppings of rodents carrying the bacteria. This is known as Haverhill fever.

The patient may develop fever, vomiting, headache, muscle pain, joint pain or Rash 

Symptoms usually begin 3 to 10 days after contact with the bacteria, but can be delayed as long as 3 weeks. By this time, any rodent bite or scratch wound that caused the infection has usually healed.

Within 2 to 4 days after the fever begins, a rash may appear on the hands and feet. This rash looks like flat, reddened areas with small bumps. One or more joints may then become swollen, red, or painful.

The symptoms that develop with Haverhill Fever (the type of infection that can follow after consuming contaminated food or water) are similar to Streptobacillary RBF but may include more severe vomiting and sore throat.


Salmonellosis is a bacterial disease. Rats and mice have equal contribution in spreading the disease

Having food contaminated by rat feces will develop the disease.

This disease results in gastric imbalances and symptoms may be diarrhea and nausea.

South American Arenaviruses

As the name indicates it can be transmitted by Arenaviridae viruses. Rodents that cause disease are Cane rat, drylands vesper mouse, large vesper mouse 

The disease is most occurring in South America

Indirectly Transmitted by Rodents:

Tick infections are most common in the United States but can occur throughout the World. They are caused by biting of the infected tick.


Babesiosis is a parasitic disease transmitted by deer mice and voles

It is the most common In the United States, Babesia microtia is transmitted by the bite of infected Ixodes scapularis ticks. 

Many people who are infected with Babesia microti feel fine and do not have any symptoms. Some people develop nonspecific flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, sweats, headache, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea, or fatigue.

Because Babesia parasites infect and destroy red blood cells, babesiosis can cause a special type of anemia called hemolytic anemia. This type of anemia can lead to jaundice (yellowing of the skin) and dark urine.

Complications of babesiosis can include A low and unstable blood pressure, Severe hemolytic anemia (hemolysis), A very low platelet count (thrombocytopenia), Disseminated intravascular coagulation (also known as “DIC” or consumptive coagulopathy), which can lead to blood clots and bleeding, Malfunction of vital organs (such as the kidneys, lungs, and liver) or, Death.

Colorado Tick Fever:

Rodents Involved in Colorado Tick are Deer mouse, bushy-tailed woodrat, ground squirrel, porcupine and chipmunk.

This is a viral disease spread by biting tick.

The disease takes 14 days to develop. The most common symptoms of Colorado tick fever (CTF) are fever, chills, headache, body aches, and feeling tired. Some patients have a sore throat, vomiting, abdominal pain, or skin rash.

Main alarm of this disease is a biphasic fever in which the patient has a fever then get relieved and again develops a disease. Rarely patients central nervous system may be affected and he may develop symptoms of stiff neck and confusion.

Cutaneous Leishmaniasis:

It is a parasitic disease that is carried by Sandfly and spread through Wild woodrat

The skin sores are developed within weeks or months of the sandfly bite. Skin sores can vary from papules to ulcers. This ulcer is covered by scab or crust.

Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis:

Deer mouse, dusky-footed woodrat, Mexican woodrat, and white-footed mouse are the suicide bombers that circulate the disease.

Anaplasmosis is a tick borne disease that is caused by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum.

Signs begin within 1–2 weeks after the bite of an infected tick.

From days 1-5 discomfort is usually mildly characterized with Fever, chills, Severe headache, Muscle aches, Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite

In severe cases, respiratory failure, bleeding problems, organ failure, death may occur 

Lyme Disease:

The white-footed mouse is the main carrier of Lyme’s disease. This tick is infected with Borrelia burgdorferi. It is common in the northeastern and mid-western USA.

Lyme’s disease is characterized by Fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes may occur in the absence of rash.

The main indication of Lyme’s disease is Erythema migrans (EM) rash that may become 12 inches with bull’s eye appearance. The lesion is not painful.

Murine Typhus:

Flea-borne (murine) typhus, is caused by a bacteria Rickettsia typhi from rats. Flea-borne typhus is spread to people through contact with infected fleas. 

Symptoms will appear in 2 weeks. 

Murine Typhus can be identified by Fever and chills, body aches and muscle pain, loss of appetite, Nausea, Vomiting, Stomach pain, Cough, Rash (typically occurs around day 5 of illness). If left untreated then bacteria can infect our vital organs.

Scrub Typhus:

Scrub typhus or bush typhus is caused by a bacteria on rats called Orientia tsutsugamushi. Scrub typhus mostly occur in rural areas of Southeast Asia, Indonesia, China, Japan, India, and northern Australia. 

Incubation period of bacteria is 10 days after which Signs and symptoms may develop that can show as Fever and chills, Headache, Body aches and muscle pain, A dark, scab-like region at the site of the chigger bite (also known as eschar), Mental changes, ranging from confusion to coma, Enlarged lymph nodes, Rash

In severe cases, the disease may be worsened to cause organ failure and bleeding.

Rickettsial Pox:

Rickettsial Pox is more commonly caused by bacteria on mites that reside on mice. Rickettsialpox is a group of diseases. Most common of which is Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF). Some other causes of Rickettsialpox are

  • Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis, caused by R. parkeri
  • Pacific Coast tick fever, caused by Rickettsia species 364D
  • Rickettsialpox, caused by Rickettsia Akari

On the onset of the disease, there is generally a dark scab at the site of tick or mite bite, known as an eschar. They form within a few days of the tick bite.

After some days patients may have a fever, headache, rash, and muscle aches.

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