There are a myriad of misconceptions surrounding rat urine. For example, some people maintain that rat urine is always toxic. At the other end of the spectrum, there are individuals who believe that rat urine never presents a danger. As happens oftentimes in like, the truth about the danger of rat urine is more nuanced than “always” and “never.”
The Average Level of Danger Associated with Rat Urine
In most cases, rat urine does not present a health hazard. It is disgusting and malodorous. It most definitely is not something you would want to ingest. Nevertheless, in a majority of situations, rat urine presents no particular health hazards.
Rat Urine and the Hantavirus
One type of virus that can be spread via contact with rat urine is hantavirus. If a person contracts hantavirus, he or she can end up seriously ill. Indeed, a hantavirus infection can be fatal.
During the first decade hantavirus was identified in the United States, over 600 people were infected with the virus. Of that number, over 200 people died.
Hantavirus can infect human beings through rat feces, urine, and rat bites. Rat bites represent the least likely way in which a person can become infected with hantavirus.
When it comes to rat droppings and urine, dried feces and urine represent the biggest threat to humans when it comes to a hantavirus infection. Dried feces crumble easily, resulting in airborne dust. Similarly, when rat urine dries, it becomes mostly like a dust.
The dust that rat droppings and urine devolve into drying become easily airborne. As consequence, this dust can be fairly easily inhaled. If the rat droppings or urine contain a virus like the hantavirus, a person can become infected with that virus simply by breathing.
Keep in mind that one out of three people in the United States that contracted the hantavirus died. Thus, if rat urine is infected with this virus, it truly is hazardous and referencing it as toxic is a fair conclusion.
Exposure to the hantavirus in the United States can result in hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. When a person develops hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, the lungs begin to fill with blood and other fluids. If this process doesn’t cease, an individual will die.
Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome
You need to recognize that hantavirus was not evident in the United States until the mid-1990s. In other words, viruses that are harming people in other parts of the world, but not currently in the United States, can end up in the U.S.A. at a future point in time. Thus far, the virus that causes hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome has not infected anyone in the United States, as far as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.
Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome represents another type of very serious disease that is spread via exposure to rat droppings and urine. This disease is also caused by a strain of the hantavirus. This strain has not yet been seen in the United States. Transmission most often occurs when rat droppings and urine dry and dust becomes airborne. The dust is breathed in and can result in infection.
At the present time, this virus primarily is found in:
- East Asia
- Western Europe
The fatality rate for hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome is lower than is rate for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Between 1 and 15 percent of patients diagnosed with hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome die annually. The disease results in an irreversible renal system collapse in those cases.
Strategy to Deal with Rat Urine
If you come upon rat urine, and rat droppings, prudence dictates that you treat the waste as if it is contaminated with harmful biological pathogens like the hantavirus. As was noted at the start off this article, a majority of rat urine is not contaminated by viruses like hantavirus.
The problem is that you have no way of knowing whether rat droppings or urine is contaminated in any manner. Therefore, when you discover rat feces and urine, the best strategy for you to take is to get away from the location where this waste is present. Once you get away from rat droppings and urine, you should contact a professional rat droppings cleanup services.
A professional rat droppings cleanup service has all the necessary equipment, and the skill and tools necessary, to undertake the type of biohazard remediation necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of other people. The engagement of a professional best ensures that rat droppings and urine will be safely and thoroughly remediated, eliminating any potential for a person to be infected with dangerous bacteria or virus.