Most Diverse Mammals
With over 2,200 species of rodents out there in the world, we can freely say that these mammals are the most diverse order of mammals in the world. These little critters inhabit every single continent, except Antarctica. Rodents are highly interesting animals because they are adapted to a number of various habitats.
These animals are also social and they have enormous reproductive potential which means that their population increases on a rapid basis every day. However, rats and mice only reproduce when the conditions for that are favorable.
A few species of rodents, especially rats and mice, have gone so far that they adapted to the human environment like they were always a part of it. However, rodents have become serious pests to human health and to food supply because they have close encounters with the water we drink and the food we eat.
Rodents such as rats and mice carry a number of disease-causing organisms, which includes worms, protozoa, viruses, and a number of bacteria.
Mice and rats also act as vectors for a number of diseases via parasites found on their skin, such as lice, mites, ticks, and fleas. One scary fact about rodents is that they are responsible for hundreds od thousands of deaths every year in the world.
Diseases Transmitted by Rats
In this part of our article, we will feature diseases that are directly transmitted by rats:
• Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome.A viral disease transmitted by rice rats. Spread by inhaling dust containing rat urine, by direct contact with rat waste, and by rat bites. Can be fatal.
• Leptospirosis. A bacterial disease transmitted by coming into direct contact with water contaminated by rat feces and urine.
• Rat-bite Fever. A disease spread by rat bites and by rat scratches.
• Salmonellosis. If you consume food or water that contains rat feces or urine, you can easily contract this dangerous disease.
Diseases Transmitted by Mice
• Plague. This dangerous disease is mainly carried by mice, but some rats also carry this disease as well. Plague is transmitted by fleas found on a rodent’s skin.
• Colorado Tick Fever. A dangerous viral disease transmitted by ticks found on the skin of a woodrat.
• Cutaneous Leishmaniasis. A parasitic disease that people can contract by getting bitten by sand flies found on the skin of rats and mice.