Who among us hasn’t cried watching An American Tail? (It’s OK, the Internet can’t see you nodding.) Fievel Mousekewitz, a young mouse from Russia, emigrates to America to escape Cossack cats and ends up separated from his family in New York City. Of course it’s sad — because Fievel is an illegal immigrant carrying superbugs.
A study of mice throughout New York City reveals that Fievel’s great-great-great-great-great … (mouse generations are ridiculous) … great-grandchildren are carrying disease-causing bacteria, including a few antibiotic-resistant germs.
Three percent of the mice carried Salmonella bacteria, 14 percent carried disease-causing Shigella, 12 percent carried the food poisoning germ Clostridium perfringens, 4 percent carried enteropathogenic Escherichia coli and 4 percent carried Clostridium difficile, a notorious cause of often-fatal chronic diarrhea.
“Often-fatal chronic diarrhea.” Clearly, crying our lungs out at their songs wasn’t enough for these Trojan mice.
If you see signs of mice in your domicile, it is critical to take steps to either catch or kill them and clean up all possible surfaces with bleach to disinfect contagion due to urine and feces. And we have to act fast before these vermin go west.