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Department of Health

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Clean environment prevents rats

    “Rats can directly or indirectly transmit diseases, including Hantavirus hemorrhagic fever, leptospirosis and endemic typhus. Hantavirus hemorrhagic fever, a zoonosis, is caused by Hanta virus infection, in which a virus carried first by a rat contaminated the air with particles with its excreta, and the particles then dried, spread and inhaled by humans (especially during floor sweeping and carpet flipping). The incubation period is generally 14 to 21 days. Early symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain and bleeding, while acute renal failure and respiratory distress occur at the late stage. If you have any of the above symptoms, seek for medical advices immediately and inform the doctor about your travel and animal contact histories for an early and proper treatment.” said Mr. Shao-Ching Chen, Section Chief of Disease Control of the Department of Health, Taipei City Government.
 
    Public health needs everyone’s effort in the community. The Department introduced five measures to prevent attracting rats: do not let the rats in; do not let the rats stay; do not feed the rats; clean and disinfect; and inspect the environment. To prevent the presence of rats, foods, food wastes and used food containers must not be thrown away at a random place, and the cleaning works and relevant measures must be emphasized at the public areas of the community. Such measures include: repairing screen window doors to block rats’ access to the house; cleaning the warehouses and storage rooms where the rats are easy to hide; handling the food wastes and animal feeds properly so that there is no food for the rats; removing weeds, glasses, and trashes around the house; and using mousetraps for rat control.