What Diseases Can Squirrels Carry?
Squirrels are cute furry creatures that are a common sight in many places especially in parks gardens. They are fascinating to watch as they climb trees run around gathering food for the winter. However despite their charming appearance squirrels can carry a number of diseases that are harmful to humans other animals.
One of the most well-known diseases that squirrels can carry is rabies. This is a viral disease that is transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. Squirrels can contract rabies from other animals such as raccoons skunks bats. The symptoms of rabies in squirrels are similar to those in other animals including aggression foaming at the mouth uncoordinated movements.
Squirrels can also carry Lyme disease which is a bacterial infection that is transmitted by ticks. While squirrels themselves do not carry the bacteria they can serve as hosts for the ticks that do. Lyme disease can cause a variety of symptoms including fever headache fatigue a characteristic “bull’s eye” rash.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that is spread through the urine of infected animals. Squirrels can carry this disease spread it through their urine which can contaminate soil water sources. The symptoms of leptospirosis in humans can range from mild (fever headache muscle aches) to severe (kidney damage liver failure meningitis).
Squirrels can also carry hantavirus which is a viral disease that is transmitted through contact with infected animal urine feces or saliva. While squirrels themselves do not usually develop symptoms from hantavirus humans who come into contact with contaminated surfaces can develop a variety of symptoms including fever muscle aches shortness of breath.
Finally squirrels can carry Salmonella a type of bacteria that can cause a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms in humans including diarrhea fever abdominal pain. Squirrels can become infected with Salmonella by eating contaminated food they can then spread the bacteria through their feces.
Overall while squirrels may seem harmless they are capable of carrying a number of diseases that can be harmful to humans other animals. To minimize your risk of contracting a disease from squirrels it is important to avoid contact with them to take appropriate precautions such as wearing gloves washing your hands after being outdoors. If you notice any symptoms of a disease after being in contact with squirrels seek medical attention right away.
Discussion about this post