Rats are the most abundant and diverse order of living mammals in the world. With more than 2,200 species, they are everywhere, and only Antarctica is still resistant to them.
As far back as the Middle Ages, these rodents were the source of the worst disease of the time: the plague. Despite modern hygienic practices, rats still pose serious health challenges since they carry many diseases, some of which are fatal. For the concerned parent, a question arises: are rat-borne diseases more dangerous for children than for adults?
Children and adults have different levels of resistance to diseases
The human body has an incredible defense mechanism: the immune system. This system, which is unique to each individual, gradually matures over time. From birth, it provides the child with early protection against many infectious diseases experienced by the mother, who transmits her antibodies to them. As the child grows, their immune system is also shaped by the infections that afflict them. In general, the immune system provides strong protection.
Dangerous diseases transmitted to children by rats
This means that children do not have as “complete” an immune system as adults. They are therefore more vulnerable to rat-borne diseases than their elders. Among the multitude of diseases transmitted by these rodents, two of them are particularly worrying for children’s health.
The Hymenolepis nana rat parasite and children
Rats are carriers of the Hymenolepis nana parasite. This parasite can live accidentally in the human small intestine. It usually spreads from person to person through eggs in feces and then attaches to the intestinal wall where it absorbs nutrients from its host through the cells that line the intestine. A person can become infected by ingesting contaminated food or water. The infection, which causes abdominal pain, agitation and itching, may have no harmful effect on adults. However, it is more likely to cause serious medical problems in children.
Typhoid fever and health problems in children
In addition to the H. nana parasite, another rat-borne disease has the potential to cause significant health problems in children: typhoid fever. Sometimes, although rarely, rats can become infected, especially when these rodents come into direct contact with human feces, in sewers for example. Typhoid fever affects nearly 30 million people per year. Although it can be treated with antibiotics, children are nevertheless more vulnerable to contracting the infection than adults, which is why it is so important to exterminate this harmful parasite.
Elite Pest Control: prevent rats from transmitting serious diseases to children
Coexistence with rats has persisted for centuries and the diseases they are capable of transmitting to us are numerous. Sometimes these diseases are easily treated in adults, but not always in children.
If you notice rats in your home, you will need to get rid of them. Elite Pest Control offers a professional rat extermination service to protect you and your children’s health. For all your pest control needs, contact Elite Pest Control.