Mice in New York Carry Rare and Dangerous Diseases, Study Finds
Just this week ACES pest control was speaking to a customer whos family had unknowingly been made ill by rodents. ACES pest control has run into this issue a number of times where rodents make people unwell. It use to be that mice didnt carry serious diseases, but that has changed now. If you have rodents near you they need to be controlled or they will make you and your family ill.
New York City house mice, the kind probably nibbling away in the pantry, are leaving behind more than an unwelcome mess.
Big Apple mice carry a wide assortment of bacteria and viruses that can cause maladies ranging from mild to life-threatening in humans, according to research published Tuesday.
Researchers from the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York gathered 416 mice from seven different sites across the five boroughs and
tested their fecal pellets.
The droppings showed that mice across the city carry numerous dangerous diseases including shigella, salmonella, clostridium difficile and leptospira, which cause fever and gastrointestinal distress in humans.
Some of the bacteria were resistant to three common antibiotics, the research showed.In addition, the mice carried 36 types of viruses, most of which had never before been seen in mice. Mice found in the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea, which were fatter than other mice, harbored the greatest number of viruses.
The results were published in the journal mBio.
The precise level of dangerousness of New York City mice feces was, until now, not fully researched. The findings, in part, confirm common sense: Mouse droppings really are stomach-churning. For the immunosuppressed, ill or very old, mice with pathogenic microbes can be especially dangerous.
The city received roughly 18,000 complaints about mice in private residential properties last year via calls to 311, according to a spokeswoman for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Complaints trigger contact to the property owner and potentially a visit by an inspector, the spokeswoman said. Public data show that some 250 calls were made to 311 about mice in schools last year. Those complaints are handled by facility staff and treatment from exterminators, according to a spokeswoman for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The mice in the study hailed primarily from multiunit residential buildings, which provide all the necessities food, shelter and warmth that mice need to live and breed rapidly.
From the fecal samples, scientists were able to determine that 37% of mice harbored at least one potentially pathogenic bacterium. Specifically, scientists recovered and cultured clostridium difficile, demonstrating that the exact same bug circulating in human outbreaks is also found in mice.
That finding is very strong evidence, although circumstantial, that mice may be a reservoir, said W. Ian Lipkin, one of the authors of the research and director of the Center for Infection and Immunity. Now, we don’t know which way it goes maybe it goes from humans into mice, mice into humans or both directions. It’s hard to say.
A spokeswoman for the city’s health department said officials have no epidemiological evidence that mice serve as a reservoir for pathogens that pose a significant danger to residents. It is likely that mice are infected with the pathogens reported in this study as a result of exposure to humans and human environment, she said.
One other important takeaway from the research is that there is no such thing as mild mice contamination of food, Dr. Lipkin said.
If you have evidence of mouse contamination, and it’s not a sealed container, I’m worried about it, said Dr. Lipkin. A little bit of mouse contamination is a large problem.
edited from original article by Melanie Grayce West https://www.wsj.com/articles/mice-in-new-york-carry-rare-and-dangerous-diseases-study-finds-