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That Little Mouse in Your House is Even MORE Dangerous Than We Thought!
by SixWise.com

Those little mice that live in your attic, basement or walls are more than just an annoyance -- they carry with them real health threats. In December 2004 we wrote aboutthe Hantavirus, which causes a disease known as Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) that isfatal in over half of all cases! You can become infected with this deadly disease through contaminated dust from the mice's droppings, urine and/or saliva in and out of your home.

A Mouse in Your House!

They may look cute, but the not-so-innocent house mouse spreads an airborne allergen that can cause allergies, asthma and more.

But that's not the only risk that little mouse in your house poses! A study done by researchers at Johns Hopkins Children's Center and published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that of 100 inner-city bedrooms of children with asthma, 84 percent had detectable levels of airborne mouse allergen!

Pediatric allergist Elizabeth Matsui, M.D., the lead author of the study, said, "e;Children living in inner-city homes are continuously exposed to the allergy-causing substance found in mouse urine that is circulating in the air. This exposure increases their risk for developing allergic sensitivity to mice, just as it does for laboratory workers who constantly work with rodents."e;

Butthis isn't just a problem for inner-city kids; Dr. Matsui points out that previous studies found mouse allergen in about 75 percent of middle-class suburban homes, and a study in the June 2004 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reported that 82 percent of rural, suburban and urban U.S. homes were found to have mouse allergens.

Health Risks of the Not-so-Innocent House Mouse

Mice (and rats) are a serious and very prevalent cause of allergies and asthma. In the case of the Johns Hopkins study, more than 25 percent of the homes tested contained levels of the mouse allergen high enough to aggravate asthma symptoms. Being exposed can lead to:

  • Allergies

  • Asthma symptoms (wheezing, difficulty breathing, etc.)

  • Full-blown asthma attack

  • Asthma-related illnesses

As anyone who suffers from asthma knows, "e;Because asthma attacks have the potential to be life-threatening, these findings are of some concern,"e; Dr. Matsui said.

In fact, asthma is so widespread that it affects about 15 million people in the United States. One-third of them are children, which explains why asthma is the leading cause of chronic illness among children, and the third leading cause of hospitalization among those aged 15 years and younger.

Where is the Mouse Allergen Most Likely to Be?

Mouse allergen is found in the mouse urine and dander. It can be anywhere in your home, but researchers with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences found that kitchen floors were most likely to have the mouse urinary proteins that can cause allergic and asthmatic reactions. High-rise apartments, mobile homes, duplexes, and triplexes had higher concentrations of the proteins as well.

Mouse allergen appears to be more common in lower-income homes, but certainly is not limited to them. The above researchers noted that 50 percent of homes with household incomes above $60,000 also contained mouse allergens.

Other indicators that mice, and therefore airborne mouse allergen, may be present in your home include:

  • Cracks and holes in walls or doors

  • Open food in the kitchen

  • Evidence of mouse infestation, such as mouse droppings

Get That Mouse Out of Your House

"e;One of the best ways parents can manage their child's asthma is to control the home environment and remove any asthma triggers, including mouse allergen,"e; said Dr. Matsui. You can do this by sealing cracks and holes in doors and walls, properly storing all food, and keeping your home clean at the deepest level possible.

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Finally, as you can read in full in the articleHantavirus: The Little Mouse in Your House Could be Deadly!, if you suspect mice have infiltrated your home, the need to remove them is urgent.

The Victor Electronic Mouse Trap, which is highly recommended by SixWise.com, irresistibly lures mice in, and then quickly (and humanely) eliminates them with a quick electric shock. Its unique tunnel makes it very safe around children and pets, unlike traps that snap shut or poisons. Plus, it avoids the unpleasant site and messy clean-ups of other traps.

Victor Electric Mouse Trap

There's no need to mess with snap traps or poisons: Mice can't resistthe Victor Electronic Mouse Trap.

For those who already suffer from allergies and asthma, actively eliminating rodents, and their urine and dander, is of utmost important for your health. But even if you don't have any symptoms now, if you suspect mice are in your home, take preventative measures to remove them and their byproducts now. Once you or your children are exposed to mouse allergen, it's possible that it could lead to allergies and asthma -- so please don't wait to take action until it's too late.

Recommended Reading

Dust Dangers: What Exactly is Dust, and Why Can it be so Dangerous?

Hantavirus: The Little Mouse in Your House Could Be Deadly!

The Missing Link to Your Preventive Healthcare: Ultramicrofiber Cleaners


Sources

Johns Hopkins Medicine

MedicineNet.com

USNews.com