Yesterday we talked about the bubonic plague and fleas. Today we’re going to be talking about another disease from the long past that’s making a comeback. In this edition of the Meryl’s Termite and Pest Control blog, we’ll be focusing on tuberculosis spread by rats and other pest animals. Similar to bubonic plague, tuberculosis is also a bacteria. What makes this particular disease especially dangerous is that it is an airborne bacterium.
Tuberculosis is on the rise again. In fact, in several recent articles it was stated that tuberculosis now rivals the HIV infection. The disease is spread human to human when people with active pulmonary TB cough, sneeze, speak or spit. In doing so, they expel infectious aerosol droplets. That, however, is not the only means of transmission. Rats and mice can also spread the disease. More specifically, bovine TB. Bovine tuberculosis is not the major cause of human TB (which is caused by
M. tuberculosis), but humans are also susceptible to bovine TB. Similar to human to human transmissions, we can also become infected by inhaling droplets of the bacterium. It is estimated in some countries that up to ten percent of human TB is due to Bovine TB.
Germs in general can be brought in on food by animals such as rats and mice, cockroaches and flies. Rats are especially notorious for spreading many other nasty diseases like the plague, salmonella and lassa fever. Animals such as rats, that can live and die in our attics and wall voids also leave dried urine and fecal matter that can transmit many potentially fatal diseases.