Diseases Spread by Norway Rats When Norway rats invade attics or kitchens, property damage and loss of food aren't the worst concerns. Residents should be much more worried about Norway rat diseases, which can damage the health and threaten the wellbeing of humans. Some of the more severe illnesses include: Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome - Any immediate contact with rodent saliva or droppings can spread HPS. Although it's somewhat rare, the potential severity of the disease makes it noteworthy. Symptoms include chills, nausea, and abdominal discomfort. Tularemia - Humans contract this fever-inducing Norway rat disease by either eating contaminated food or through the skin. The illness results in ulcers and the swelling of glands. Salmonellosis - This disease is spread via the accidental ingestion of food or drink polluted with rodent feces. Symptoms can last up to a week and include bloody stool, abdominal cramps, and vomiting. Airborne Transmission Many Norway rat diseases are spread through the air. Dried fecal matter is easily kicked up in grass or gardens and disturbed while cleaning sheds or attics. Proper ventilation is necessary when cleaning up droppings, and homeowners must wear dust masks, gloves, and long sleeves to stay safe. To best avoid catching these diseases, contact the professionals at Critter Control to eliminate Norway rats safely.