Rodents Pose LCMV Risk to Pregnant Women


Pregnant women and women who think they might become pregnant should avoid the care and feeding of pet rodents and avoid contact with wild rodents to reduce their risk of contracting the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus from the animals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised.

Pregnant women who discover wild mice or other rodents in their homes should leave the capture and removal of the animals to a family member or a professional exterminator. They should also avoid spending long periods of time in the same room as a pet rodent and should not clean the cage or feed the animal. Most LCMV infections do not cause serious illness. Symptoms include stiff neck, fever, muscle aches, and nausea.

Although the risk for LCMV infection is fairly low, transmission of infection from mother to fetus has been reported, and infection during the first or second trimester can cause developmental problems in the fetus, according to CDC.

Observing good hygiene practices and environmental modifications can reduce the risk of infection; the virus has been shown to transfer from rodents to humans, but not from person to person (MMWR 2005;54:747–8).

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