Palmdale, California, has a current population approaching 160,000. The motto adopted by the city is “a place to call home.” In fact, Palmdale has become known as a family community in recent years.

Unfortunately, life in Palmdale did turn upside down in the Spring of 2018 when a 14-year old boy shot and wounded a student at Highland High School. Fortunately, unlike so many school shooting incidents in the United States in recent years, the shooting at the Palmdale high school resulted in no fatalities.

Although not as dramatic (at least on the surface) as a shooting, throughout the course of any given year, a number of Palmdale restaurants, diners, and bistros find themselves cited for health code violations of different types. In some instances, these violations include citations for the presence of rat droppings in a restaurant.

The reality is that rat droppings can present a number of serious health hazards, oftentimes referred to as biohazards. In addition, the dangers of rat droppings exist not only at some restaurants but can also be present at homes and other types of businesses in Palmdale. As a result, proper biohazard cleanup after the discovery of rat droppings is something that Palmdale business and homeowners need to develop a meaningful understanding.

Rat Droppings and the Attic of the Jones’ Home

There is an old cliché about “keeping up with the Jones.” You don’t want to keep up with the Jones when it comes to your attic. The reality is that rats can infest an attic and go largely unnoticed, at least for a period of time. What can occur during that infestation is an accumulation of a considerable amount of potentially harmful rat feces, urine, and saliva.

In addition to infesting an attic, rats can also end up nesting between walls, in garages, in basements, and in storage sheds. In a short period of time, your own home could end up like the Jones’ residence in Palmdale. You run the risk of being surrounded by potentially dangerous pathogens.

The Health Risks Associated with Rat Droppings

When asked, many people in Palmdale are not particularly aware of the types of diseases that can be spread via contact with rat droppings. The reality is that some very serious diseases can be spread by rat droppings. The trio of most common types of diseases that potentially could infect Palmdale residents are:

  • Hantavirus: If rat droppings are merely “swept up,” dust associated with the droppings and containing hantavirus infiltrates the surrounding air. This dust can be inhaled, resulting in infection. Hantavirus is potentially fatal.
  • Salmonellosis: Food poisoning occurs when food is contaminated by rat droppings.
  • Rat Bite Fever: This is a potentially fatal disease can be spread via a rodent bite as well as by food contaminated by rat droppings.

Symptoms of Hantavirus

In many ways, the hantavirus represents the most serious type of infection that a resident of Palmdale could face as a result of exposure to rat droppings. The symptoms of hantavirus infection are divided into two phases. The early symptoms of hantavirus are:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain

Late phase symptoms of hantavirus, which appear at about 10 days after infection, include the early symptoms together with coughing and shortness of breath. The shortness of breath can become progressively worse as the lungs fill with fluid.

Testing for Hantavirus and Other Diseases Related to Rat Droppings

The Antelope Valley Service Area of the Los Angeles Health Department provides services to residents of Palmdale. If you do not have a primary care physician and have been exposed to rat droppings, the LA Health Department can provide testing to ascertain if you’ve been exposed to any harmful pathogen as a result of your contact with rat droppings. The health agency charges a fee based on a sliding scale and your ability to pay.

The Importance of Professional Biohazard Cleanup of Rat Droppings

As referenced a moment ago, merely trying to sweep up rat droppings can actually make a bad situation worse. A person untrained in biohazard cleanup, including a person lacking proper personal protective gear, can actually end up exposing his or her self – and others – to harmful viruses and bacteria contained in rat droppings. Unintentional or not, this type of exposure can have harmful and even fatal consequences.

By engaging the services of biohazard cleanup specialists, like locally and family owned Eco Bear, a home or business owner can rest assured that rat droppings cleanup will be undertaken safely and thoroughly. The risk associated with rat droppings will be eliminated and not spread.

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