The mouse plague which is wreaking havoc across rural NSW, decimating crops and and ruining lives, now poses a real risk of spreading Leptospirosis.
Leptospirosis is spread through animal urine and faeces after a rat or mouse becomes infected with the disease. Beginning with flu like symptoms, the disease can evolve into a full blown and deadly disease. It can lead to liver and kidney failure, internal bleeding and meningitis like symptoms. Medical authorities have warned that, while the diseases rare, it is currently a very real threat.
This is due to seasonal conditions being perfect for mice populations to grow and spread. Wet and humid weather has created an ideal breeding environment that has seen mouse populations soar, reaching plague proportions. Like most infectious diseases, it is important that PPE protocol is enforced to avoid infection. Washing hands thoroughly and regularly, using disinfectants and sanitisers in communal areas such as kitchens and bathrooms, will help to avoid and later repercussions.
Communities are being urged to do what they can to curb the spread, but are also being warned to exercise caution when handling toxic rodenticides.
In many rural NSW areas, rodenticides and mouse traps have quickly vanished as the demand for these products has overtaken the ability to supply communities with adequate weapons to fight the plague. The current mouse plague has been compared to the plague that hit NSW in 1984, leaving behind a path of destruction that took communities many years to recover from. The current mouse plague comes at a time when the world is in the grip of a pandemic and Australia has recently suffered bushfires of enormous proportions.