Do Mice Carry Rabies?
Mice (and rodents in general) are notorious for spreading diseases of all kinds. It’s just one of the many reasons they’re considered vermin. But can mice spread rabies?
You probably already know to be wary of strange dogs and animals like raccoons, since they could be carrying rabies. Rabid animals behave abnormally, stumbling around and foaming at the mouth. They frequently attack people on sight. If a rabid animal bites you, it can transmit rabies through it saliva. Rabies is incredibly dangerous and even deadly in humans.
Knowing that, it’s logical that you’d want to be wary of mice, too. After all, mice are very common. They infest cities, farms, homes, and businesses. If mice can transmit rabies, we might be in trouble, right? Well, there’s some good news and bad news.
The Bad NewsAll mammals are capable of contracting rabies. This includes people, dogs, elephants, dolphins, and yes, mice. If a mouse is bitten by a rabid animal, it is capable of taking the disease and then transmitting it to others with bites of its own.
The Good NewsThere has never been a documented case of rabid mice in the U.S., except in laboratories. This is due to several reasons. First, mice have incredibly hardy immune systems that may be capable of resisting the disease. Second, even though mice are common, they are also small and sneaky, meaning that you’ll rarely see them (rabid or otherwise). Finally, mice can only get rabies by being bitten by another rabid animal, like a dog. However, mice are small prey animals. If they get bitten, they are unlikely to survive the encounter.
It’s theoretically possible that you’ll encounter a rabid mouse, but extremely unlikely. But don’t think that means you’re safe from the rodents. They’re still capable of spreading all kinds of deadly and dangerous diseases, and should be avoided and eliminated when possible. For tips on getting rid of mice, check our page on mouse control.