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How pest control protects people from Monkeypox

The news about a new, highly contagious, and possibly lethal virus called monkeypox hit the world like a tsunami. The disease, first detected in Central Africa, has now spread to more than 20 countries including Australia. Even with this outbreak, diseases transmitted by rodents don’t get as much attention as pandemics like bird flu or swine flu, but there are good reasons why we need pest control services to protect people from rodent-borne diseases like monkeypox.

What is Monkeypox?

The name “monkeypox” can be a bit misleading as it’s not a strain of the pox viruses that are associated with smallpox. It is a rare viral disease that’s been around for a long time, but until recently had only been reported in people who came in close contact with rodents in Africa. Monkeypox can spread from one person to another through prolonged close contact, or direct contact with infected bodily fluids, lesions or scabs on the skin, or contaminated objects, such as bedding or clothes. Once infected, symptoms usually appear within 8-10 days. Symptoms include rash, fever, muscle aches, and fatigue. While the disease isn’t usually fatal, it can lead to serious complications, especially in young children and people with weaker immune systems.

Am I at risk of Monkeypox in Australia?

Since May 2022, there has been a global increase in monkeypox cases reported from multiple countries where monkeypox is not usually seen. Cases so far are mainly among people with no recent travel to Central or West Africa, meaning there is local community transmission. There have been a few cases of monkeypox in Australia, but it could be that the outbreak is just starting. In the past, small outbreaks of monkeypox have occurred in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland.
Monkeypox usually occurs in remote areas, particularly in Aboriginal communities, where people have close contact with animals like bats, rodents and possums, making them particularly susceptible. Since the virus is highly contagious and can be transmitted by animals or humans, even minimal contact with the virus can make people sick. This means that people who have had direct contact with someone who has the disease have a high risk of infection.

How pest control can help prevent diseases like Monkeypox?

Rodents and other pests are commonly found in our homes and businesses and can carry diseases, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can affect humans and other animals. Rodents can easily spread disease, either by direct contact or by dropping contaminated faeces, urine, and other materials. Other than rodent transmitted diseases, rodents can also spread salmonella, which can cause diarrhoea, fever, and stomach cramps, and spread lice, fleas, and ticks, which can carry diseases like typhus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Lyme disease.
Rodent control is an important part to prevent the spread of diseases like Monkeypox. Once a rodent infestation has been spotted in residential and commercial properties, it can be very difficult to control. When rodents are found in your home or business, you should call a pest professional at your earliest convenience as they are qualified and trained in the best ways to control rodents. Many pest control companies also provide pest disinfection services to
decontaminate places where rodents have been found to remove or kill any bacteria, viruses, or parasites that may be present. 

Have or suspect a rodent problem?

Rentokil technicians are highly qualified and trained to industry standards to help protect your property from rodents. Our local teams offer a wide range of global innovations, rodent control solutions, and pest disinfection services for the most effective outcome. If you have or suspect a pest problem or would like to know more about protecting your home or business from pests, contact us today.

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