For the longest time, people have been discussing about rat infestations being harmful for their residential and commercial property. There are discussions on the repercussions a business has to face as a rat infestation can put a dent on their reputation. There have been restaurants that were shut down temporarily, experience a loss of revenue because of the presence of rodents in their kitchen and serving areas during inspection. As such, rodent control has become an important talking point especially for businesses.
One thing that we tend to take lightly is the effect of rat infestations on our health. We may have read about how rats are carriers of diseases and bring along bacteria and viruses when they infest our house but we never think of the health risk quite as seriously. However, some recent incidents will force you to contemplate about how rats are a health risk.
Most of the pest control companies in Singapore will ask you to adopt certain rat control measures to prevent their population from increasing. Some might also suggest to install electronic rodent monitoring devices in your homes and commercial spaces to track down the activities of these tiny creatures. But if you think that you don’t need them, you should read the following to know what health risks rodents pose to your home and work spaces:
Shocking case of Rat Hepatitis in Humans
It was in the news that an Australian woman was killed by consuming a tainted pomegranate. Another man from Hong Kong developed the world’s first case of Rat Hepatitis E in humans. This shows that you can fall sick if you consume food or water contaminated by rats.
It is hard for some to believe because there has been no previous evidence that the strain of virus can be transmitted to humans. The case came to doctors’ notice when the man showed abnormal liver function after a liver transplant surgery. It was also said that the Hong Kong patient has a weak immune system post liver transplant surgery which may have made him vulnerable to infection which may not be the case with healthy individuals. A weaker person is prone to catch infections quickly and might not be able to fight the health risks.
Lack of evidence and research
There are no standard tests developed to examine the virus. The first incident of Rat Hepatitis E has given the medical community a reason to further investigate especially in people with compromised immunity. Also, it is believed that the virus is comparatively diverse which means it came into existence a long time back.
The human form of Hepatitis causes inflammation in the liver and happens due to various viruses. It was found that Hepatitis A, B, and C spreads via contaminated water and food or body fluids and blood based on the type of virus.
The human Hepatitis E is estimated to infect around 20 million across the globe as per a report by World Health Organization (WHO). From the 20 million infected people, 44000 deaths were recorded. On the other hand, the animal form of Hepatitis was seen only to infect domestic pigs, deer, and wild boars.
Now, Rat Hepatitis E virus is included in the list of infections that may be transmitted from rats to humans. It is not uncommon for a disease to spread from animals to humans. It has been observed that more than 60% of infectious diseases have their origin in animals.
It has become imperative to practice rodent control measures along with limiting their population. People need to have a proactive approach when it comes to pest control in Singapore. With advanced technology such as electronic rodent management and the introduction of using sensor technology in pest management to monitor rodent movement, it has become easier to prevent as well as control these infestations.