Diseases Spread by Rodents

Rodents, such as rats, mice, and chipmunks are known to spread many diseases worldwide. Diseases can spread to people directly and indirectly from rodents. The following list provides links to more information about some of the diseases that can spread from rodents, these are not exhaustive lists.

Diseases Spread Directly by Rodents

Certain diseases can spread from rodents to people through direct contact with infected rodents (for example, breathing in contaminated air, touching contaminated materials and then touching eyes, nose, or mouth, being bitten or scratched by an infected rodent, or eating food contaminated from an infected rodent).


Lassa Fever


Lujo Hemorrhagic Fever

Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCM)


Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever

Rat-Bite Fever


South American Arenaviruses, including Argentine hemorrhagic fever, Bolivian hemorrhagic fever, Chapare Hemorrhagic Fever, Sabiá-associated hemorrhagic fever, and Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever

Sylvatic Typhus

Diseases Spread Indirectly by Rodents

Certain diseases can spread from rodents to people through indirect contact. This can occur when people are bitten by ticks, mites, fleas, and mosquitos that have fed on infected rodents. Diseases can also spread to people from rodents through the consumption of an intermediate host (for example, beetles or cockroaches).





Colorado tick fever

Cutaneous leishmaniasis

Eastern equine encephalitis

Flea-borne (Murine) Typhus

Hymenolepis diminuta

La Crosse virus

Moniliformis moniliformis


Powassan virus


Scrub typhus

Tick-borne Relapsing Fever


West Nile virus