05September

Mouse-Borne Virus in California Highlights Rodent Threats To Human Health

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We’ve long warned that rodents (and the parasites they carry) are not just a nuisance, they pose serious direct health threats, as well as indirect health threats. Rodents carry viruses and other problems that can result in complaints, violations, fines and even litigation.

In case you missed it this weekend, the Associated Press reported “Mouse-Borne Virus Shuts 91 Cabins in Yosemite National Park.” 

How serious an issue is it? 

From the AP: Park officials indefinitely closed the cabins at the center of an inquiry into the deaths of two people from a mouse-borne virus.  Officials say the double-walled design of the cabins made it easy for mice to nest between the walls. In the past three weeks, two people have died of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome after staying in one of the “Signature” cabins. Another person is confirmed ill and one more most likely has the virus.

As Sky News elaborates: Tracking the outbreak has been made more difficult by the long incubation period of hantavirus, which can be up to six weeks. According to the [UK’s Health Protection Agency], victims display flu-like symptoms, including fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and a cough. Other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. The disease can then progress very rapidly, resulting in severe difficulty in breathing as the lungs fill with fluid. Since the virus was first identified in the USA in 1993 there have been 556 confirmed cases.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that around 10,000 park visitors stayed in the cabins during the identified risk period from June 10 through August 24, 2012. Of these 10,000 2,500 were international tourists, the rest from the United States.  Health officials sent warnings to 39 other countries earlier this week that citizens who stayed in Yosemite should be on the lookout for symptoms of the lung disease.

While complaints of rats, mice, and rodents were prominent for Upper West Side and other New York residents this summer, rodent and mice infestation problems are actually greater in the cooler months when these animals seek warmer places to live and spend the winter.  With autumn approaching these pests will move indoors.

Call Bell Environmental so we can solve and prevent rat and mice problems in your building!  We create programs that protect your building and residents.  We use rodent traps to detect entry points inside buildings so that we can immediately resolve issues.  We put stress on populations and eliminate their hiding places. Bell Environmental continually monitors areas so we prevent new issues from emerging. More than pest control, Bell Environmental’s entomologists also work with you on sanitation, landscaping, and other approaches that stop pests. 

Please contact us to learn more.

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