Rat diseases symptoms in humans

Wild Rats are known for being filthy, disease ridden and destructive by nature. They are often found living side by side with humans, skulking in the walls, ceilings and attics, or secreted in barns, sheds, and garages. Wild rats present a serious problem to humans because of the myriad of diseases and contagions that they carry and can unwittingly pass on to us. Most diseases that rats, the body, waste, or body pests can pass on to use start in the same way. They begin with flu like symptoms: headaches, stiffness, nausea, low fever, and possible diarrhea. Unfortunately, most of them do not stop there! If you have been exposed to a rat (alive or dead), its droppings, or its nesting area here are some main illnesses that rats spread. If your symptoms go beyond the flu like symptoms, this should prompt you to seek medical attention. Here are some signs to look for:

Rat bite fever, spread through a bite or scratch- in the later stages you may see

Swelling and discoloration at the site of the bite with red streaks.

Swelling in your lymph nodes.

A skin rash with purple or reddish raised blotches all over

Muscle pain and swelling of the joints (rare)


This disease in its severest form can cause infection of the heart, pneumonia, meningitis, and hepatitis. These severe complications happen more in the very old, young, or infirm.

Salmonellosis, spread by consuming foodstuffs contaminated by rat droppings or urine- after the initial flu like symptoms.

Severe abdominal cramping and diarrhea

A fever around 100 F.

If you experience bloody diarrhea, a fever in excess of 102F or extreme dehydration, seek medical attention immediately. Keep in mind that even after symptoms pass, (3-7 days) the bacteria remains in the victims stool and intestinal tract for up to six weeks. Be sure to practice safe hygiene, especially in the bathroom.

Leptospirosis- spread by consuming contaminated food or water, or by coming in contact with waste from contaminated water or soil.

The infection mimics the same symptoms as many other sicknesses in the beginning and can take up to one month after exposure to exhibit any symptoms. This is a biphasic disease, meaning it has 2 phases of symptoms. Most people go through the first phase with little or no problems and the illness has run its course. If you enter phase two seek medical attention promptly. This phase is known for kidney failure, liver problems, meningitis, encephalitis, and death.

These are just three of the more common diseases that can be passed on the by rats or their parasites. There are many more illnesses and problems that are directly caused by these furry menace. If you have rats in your area, please take all precautions necessary to protect you and your family!

Read the How to get rid of rats page for helpful information and to learn more about Rat diseases symptoms in humans

Rat diseases symptoms in humans

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