Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCM)

Lymphocytic Choriomeningits, which is also known as LCM, is a viral infectious disease that is caused by lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). LCMV is primarily hosted in the common house mouse.

How is LCMV Transmitted?

The most common way that LCMV is transmitted is through the exposure of fresh urine, droppings, saliva, or nesting materials from infected rodents. LCMV can also be transmitted through: bites scratches, droppings, fresh urine, saliva proceeding in rubbing your eyes, nose, or mouth. Anyone of any age that comes in contact with in any way with an infected rodent is at risk of this infection. In addition, human fetuses are at risk of acquiring this infection vertically from the infected mother.

How Can You Prevent LCMV?

This infection can be prevented by avoiding contact with wild mice and as well as taking precautions when encountering rodents. If you have pet rodents, most times they will get infected by wild rodents. If you have a rodent infestation in and around your home, take the following precautions to reduce the risk of LCMV infection:

  • Seal up rodent entry holes or gaps with steel wool, lath metal, or caulk.
  • Trap rats and mice by using an appropriate snap trap.
  • Clean up rodent food sources and nesting sites and take precautions when cleaning rodent-infested areas:
  • Use cross-ventilation when entering a previously unventilated enclosed room or dwelling prior to clean up.
  • Put on rubber, latex, vinyl or nitrile gloves.
  • Do not stir up dust by sweeping. It is recommended to vacuum instead to avoid inhaling fibers released in the rodent droppings.
  • Thoroughly wet contaminated areas with a bleach solution or household disinfectant.
  • Hypochlorite (bleach) solution: Mix 1 and 1/2 cups of household bleach in 1 gallon of water.
  • Once everything is wet, take up contaminated materials with a damp towel and then mop or sponge the area with a bleach solution or household disinfectant.
  • Spray dead rodents with disinfectant and then double-bag along with all cleaning materials and throw the bag out in an appropriate waste disposal system.
  • Remove the gloves and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water (or waterless alcohol-based hand rubs when soap is not available and hands are not visibly soiled).

When doing these steps on your own, proceed with caution as it can be very easy to be infected. It is best to allow professionals to handle an infestation to avoid risks of getting this infection.

If you or someone you know is dealing with an infestation, do not hesitate and contact us today:

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CDC Healthcare Center Facts About Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis: