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Biology/rat and mouse germs

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Question
Hi,
I found some newspaper clippings of my children when they were younger had been chewed by what looks like some rodent.  Apparently, I wasn't worried at the time since they were in a folder where there were no droppings or traces of rodent urine. However, I continue to worry they might be contaminated.  

I have no clue when they were damaged. I have been carrying family pictures like this around for years. (I am 77)

Should I be concerned about other family keepsakes they were near?  The newspaper was from the 1970s and I believe the type at that time had printers ink that killed germs.

I would appreciate either reassurance everything is Ok or something I should do to make sure it is OK.

Answer
Hi Joanne
 Almost nothing in the environment is 100% sterile including newspapers. When they first come off the press they have every few germs but as soon as they are handled things change.
I am sure that your old papers, photos are  are not contaminated with dangerous bacteria. Hand washing after handling is a good idea however
Fresh rodent droppings can be a danger to pregnant women

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Walter Hintz

Expertise

Science teacher for over 50 years. MSc. in biology. I can answer questions in general biology, zoology, botany, anatomy and physiology and biochemistry.

Experience

I have a MSc in biology and have been a science teacher for over 50 years. At present I am a faculty member at a college and a science consultant at seven catholic schools.

Publications
The Ohio journal of Science
Momentum-The Journal of the Catholic Education Association

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