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Mice/can mice catch human diseases?


Hi Natasha

I have a cold at the moment and I used to have a hamster and he died because he caught a cold from me, he became very sick and died from it. I then read in a hamster book that hamsters can catch human illnesses and die so I've tried to be extra careful with the mice, I've been washing my hands extra thoroughly before handling them and turning away from them when I cough or sneeze and trying not to breath on them. I have a mouse care book but it didn't say anything about catching diseases so I tried to look online but I couldn't find anywhere that said whether they could or couldn't catch human diseases.

Should I not worry about them catching my cold or is it possible that they could become seriously ill from my cold?

Well thanks for answering my question :)

From Verity :D

Hi Verity,

Sorry that you have a cold! No, mice cannot catch the human cold (nor can hamsters). Viruses such as colds and flus are species specific. However, you can give mice bacterial infections, which can kill them.

When you have a cold, you may handle them but yes, wash hands, etc.  Just the way that when a mouse flares up with the common rat and mouse disease myco, it is at high risk for another bacterial infection; so are you more likely to be carrying stronger bacteria when you have a cold; thus being careful with a cold is not to protect them from the cold but from whatever else you might give them. And your cold can also turn into something bacterial. The two times I have gotten my pets sick-- one cage of mice, who didn't make it; and one cage of rats, who were treatable with antibiotics-- were when I had had a cold and it was turning into something worse but I did not know it yet.

Of course you always wash your hands before touching your mice anyway, right? :)

Hope you get over your cold quickly.

Squeaks n giggles,


PS the hamster did not die of a human cold either.  


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I can answer questions about raising mice and caring for them as pets, with knowledge from my 38 years of having fancy mice as pets. I have NO MEDICAL TRAINING and you should take a sick mouse to the vet; but if you simply can't, I will try to help you. I LOVE PHOTOS!!! I ALSO LOVE UPDATES! Let me know how the little tyke is doing later on, for better or worse, especially orphans. It also helps me to help the next person. Please first search first: use 'Natasha Mice Mouse' with whatever else your question includes. Or check out these links: **** YOUR FIRST MOUSE (my video; rough draft): **** TEN VIDEOS ON RAISING ORPHANS: **** SEXING MICE: **** And some GREAT MOUSE INFO SITES:


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