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Rodent Exposure Poll

Discussion in 'XMRV Testing, Treatment and Transmission' started by Dainty, Feb 15, 2011.


Rodent exposure pre-M.E./CFS?

  1. I had a pet rodent (mouse, rat, hampster, guinea pig, ferret, etc) before M.E./CFS

    22 vote(s)
  2. I had a cat/dog who brought in rodents before M.E./CFS

    17 vote(s)
  3. I had other exposure to rodents (please explain) before M.E./CFS

    13 vote(s)
  4. I didn't have any exposure to rodents before M.E./CFS that I can recall

    10 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

    So we were talking in chat and realized a lot of us have had exposure to rodents through pets, whether pet rodents or cats that brought in rodents. We thought a poll on the subject might be informative.

    If you have been tested for XMRV, please post the result as a reply here along with posting your answer to the poll so we can see if there's any correlation.

    Poll is multiple choice.
  2. sacha


    I had a mouse as a teenager and have always had cats until a few years ago. Some of them were excellent hunters and I've had to dispose of the occasional mouse cadaver. I tested negative for culture and PCR, am waiting for serology results.
  3. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

    Sth Australia
    In specifically.. we had curiousity about rats.. with 3-4 of us chatting having had pet rats. It would be great if people could also comment on what rodent they had if they had.

    Other then a pet rat before CFS/ME... i had the unfortunately incident of eatting mice poo. (thanks dainty of thinking of putting in other rodent exposure).
    I also had pet guinea pigs and merry's post reminded me of an incident in my childhood in which i played with wild mouse babies in a nest.

    Im still thinking its strange just how many of us had pet rats in particular.
  4. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

    I had three different pet rats, and handled three others. Handled rodents at the pet store on several occasions. I accidentally ate rat poo once. Also had a pet mouse. Handled baby wild mice without gloves or taking any other precautions. Had a cat that brought in dead rats.
  5. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

    Apart from that pet mice, the rat and all the cats who hunted mice... I also ticked the other box. We were made to dissect rats and mice at school at various times. Hated it.
  6. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    The place where I grew up, an old farmhouse in poor repair, was overrun with mice. The mice, of course, got into the food in the cupboard and whatever was left out on the counter or table. At one time I didn't have a bed but slept on a mattress on the floor beside a closet where I could hear mice scampering, and I was afraid the mice would run across me while I was asleep.

    When I was a child, seven or eight, I rescued a mouse from a cat, and that ungrateful mouse bit me. I remember also finding nests of baby mice and handling them.

    After a shed beside the house was torn down, the rats which had lived in the shed attempted to move into the house. One successfully gnawed through a closet wall and ran into the living room. But I think I was grown up and living somewhere else and just heard about this episode from my parents.

    My siblings and cousins and I spent hours playing in barns, where we certainly would've had constant exposure to rodent urine and feces in hay and straw and animal feed.

    Both of my parents grew up on farms and would've had this same exposure.

    I don't think, however, that I became ill from contact with rodents (if that is what the poll is trying to determine). I have evidence that my mother was ill from about age 12. She missed so much school that she had to repeat the grade. Thereafter she had trouble staying awake. When I finally admitted in my late twenties that I must have the same illness, I just assumed that she had given me a pathogen or that we both had some genetic abnormality.
  7. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    ALmost every Human on Earth has had exposure to rodents! We rarely see them though, living out of sight
    as said in chat, grain stores for millenia have been a battleground between us and rodents, and their urine and feaces inevitably gets into our food (sorry for that, lol, but simple fact of life)

    I've also been bitten by a pet rat and a wild shrew.
    Cottage I lived in country had major rat problem.
  8. Sushi

    Sushi Moderation Resource Albuquerque

    I worked with rats on a research project in high school and had to listen to their breathing by sticking their snouts in my ear. I developed a rash on my ear. We also dissected them.

    I am XMRV positive by culture but I also think I got it from my Mom as she had many of the same symptoms I do.

    I was interested that KDM asked us if we had had contact with rodents. His questions are targeted so there must be a reason he asked!

  9. anne_likes_red

    anne_likes_red Senior Member

    Ok, so I'm the only one so far who can't recall any contact.
    However, seening Silverblades post I'm having to accept I'm probably just as contaminated as the next person. :D
  10. Jemal

    Jemal Senior Member

    Our family only had dogs and they never brought in rodents...
    I just remembered our family did keep mice, but that was over 25 years ago. I don't think I got a virus from them.

    Now, if rodents are infected with a virus that can cause CFS in humans, then you wouldn't even need to have direct contact with them. Rodents are everywhere, leaving their droppings in the funniest of places. Even in supermarkets in developed countries (being in direct contact with bread for example!). Ticks might certainly be a vector as well.

    It would be ironic if rats are spreading something like XMRV, potentially causing a big health crisis... they already gave us the plague and killed off 50% of our population in the Middle Ages :D
  11. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

    Lol, guys, we aren't jumping to conclusions here. :p We were just noticing that a lot of us had had close contact with rodents and it sparked the idea of a poll.
  12. WillowJ

    WillowJ คภภเє ɠรค๓թєl

    WA, USA
    I was bit by a pet guinea pig. Visited others' pet rodents. Cat brought us (my sisters and me) live infant mice a couple of time--guess he thought we could take care of them, but we didn't know how to do that. We had the dead gifts, too; mice, shrews (and moles, but I don't know if those are rodents).

    My grandparents have always lived in a rural location and we used to play in their barn. They had barn cats to keep down the mice, though.

    We live in a rural location now, have had mice in the house (not a fun problem to take care of; mice are too cute to kill and too messy to leave alone).

    It is true that pretty much everyone has probably had rodent exposure at some point. You would have to know something about the epidemiology of XMRV in rodents before knowing whether rodent exposure was significant to getting a disease thought to be linked to XMRV.
  13. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

    I had other exposure to rodents (please explain) before M.E./CFS :

    I had an animal Sciences Class in High School and my rat bit me more than once. I also worked as a commercial driver in my early 30's and our lot was across the street from a garbage dump. Something, probably a large rat, ate through my cloth lunch bag while I was asleep and ate my lunch (specifically my cashews). I didn't notice until I had taken a few bites myself. eewwww. I did get very sick a couple weeks after this with something that included swollen lymph nodes, lots of flem, coughing, and vomitting. However, I had also had problems with swollen lymph nodes off and on before this.

    Oh, one more thing I forgot. I had pet mice when I was a little girl. My mouse was named Minnie. My sister's evil mouse Rascal bit everyone. I think my parents bought them to drive the cats crazy.
  14. illsince1977

    illsince1977 A shadow of my former self

    Exposed to wild mice, but never bitten. Was with my husband in his tepee on his undeveloped 40 acres up in the mountains. Mice were always around at night looking for food and grains that weren't sealed in plastic buckets (and even sealed grains) had droppings in them that we always had to check through before preparing. 6 months after that initial trip I had my first signs of CFS, but I was also pregnant by then. So, who knows? Theoretically it's worth exploring, but polls probably tend to be voted on by those who find them iinteresting because they see a possible commonality, so they become problematic methodologically.
  15. Mark

    Mark Former CEO

    Sofa, UK
    Silverblade's right that rodents are so ubiquitous that it's next to impossible for anyone to have avoided them.

    At the same time, this sort of suggestion always does provoke thoughts of lots of circumstantial evidence in my own mind: I think back to the mouse-infested student house I lived in, and the rare form of trench mouth (which the dentist thought was eradicated after WW2!) that I developed during that time...and note that there have been rodent problems in many of the places I've lived in...I also think of one of the two people I knew at Uni who had ME, who kept guinea pigs.

    Sadly, even with good controls to compare this poll with, I doubt we'll be able to draw any valid conclusions on this subject. The circumstantial evidence in my own life seems quite suggestive to me...but very likely to remain circumstantial...
  16. beesknees

    beesknees Senior Member

    I've wondered this myself. I was bitten by a guinea pig a year or two before I got sick. It does seem like there is higher prevelance of people with these pets.

    However, in some countries, at least in Peru that I know of, people eat guinea pigs. So would't CFS be a high occurence in that area? As far as I know I don't think it is.
  17. Emmanuelle


    New Jersey, U.S.
    Always had cats, childhood fiend had pet rat, and I got my sickest after moving into our current house which had dead mice in the walls...
  18. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Dainty, thanks for the poll.

    I've enjoyed these our-lives-with-rodents tales. My entertainment for the last few days.
  19. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

    As a child we kept hamsters and guinea pigs - have been bitten by many. Also had cats who would bring in live and dead mice. One xmas my mum said that mice ate a load of the christmas food so she just sort of trimmed it up and served it anyway!
    As a young woman i lived in many squats, once with a pet rat that we let live wild in the flat. It used to get in my bed and was cute. Since than ive moved to the country and our log store is infested with mice/rats all the time - they muct be peeing and pooping all over the wood that i handle every day! also our shed is full of mice, we cant store our apples in there cos they eat all the apples and just leave a round apple shaped piece of newspaper with dropping in! I have also prior to this relapse become a gardener and swam in ratty rivers - always shouting at the kids to keep their mouths closed though!
    As a teenager living in London i used to swim in Hampstead ponds which were renound for being rat infested.
    Yes they are everywhere!
  20. sickness


    Western Australia
    I had pet mice as a child. My brother and friend had guinea pigs. I also did rat dissections at school (I was one of those weird people who found it fascinating). Three dissections in one day actually - Biology, Human Biology (I know, why rats if it's human biol?), and the one I did for a girl in my class who was too squeamish, lol.
    Living in a semi-rural area we have had an intermitent problem with mice for years. I also have had several Jack-Russell Terriers, very good little ratters (or mousers, as the case maybe).
    So yep, lots of exposure to rodents!
    I know that most people have probably been exposed to rodents at some point, but the greater the exposure, the greater the chance of (hypothetical) infection, I suppose. Interesting stuff.
    I am glad you started this thread and poll Dainty, I have been wondering about this myself, so thanks!

    take care, ness

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