The chances of humans contracting diseases from squirrels can vary greatly, depending on several factors. The risks usually arise when humans inadvertently get exposed to squirrel feces, urine, or come into direct contact with an infected squirrel. Let’s delve into the details of the disease contraction and associated risk factors.
The risk of disease transmission increases with factors such as:
As rare as it may be, there have been reported cases of humans contracting diseases from squirrels. In 2017, Colorado reported three human cases of plague, all linked to exposure to sick squirrels
Squirrels, like most animals, can be hosts to a variety of parasites, which in turn can pose significant disease risks to humans and pets. Fleas, ticks, and mites are common external parasites found on squirrels. They can act as vectors, transmitting diseases from squirrels to humans.
Flea bites are known to transmit diseases such as tularemia and plague. It’s not the squirrels themselves, but these tiny parasites that can convert a seemingly innocuous squirrel encounter into a health hazard.
The risks associated with parasites are more pronounced if you are bitten by one or if they happen to infest your living area. It’s important, therefore, to maintain a safe distance from areas frequented by squirrels.
In conclusion, while the likeliness of humans contracting diseases from squirrels is not high, it is not impossible. Awareness, precaution and good hygiene practices are key for prevention.
As we have seen, squirrels can pose health risks, but are they a threat to your property too? Let’s explore this aspect in the following section- ” What damage can squirrels cause to your property?“.