NSW mouse plague turns deadly as hotel owner fights for his life after contracting rare disease

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The devastating plague of mice in New South Wales has left a Dunedoo hotel owner fighting for his life after contracting a deadly rodent-borne disease.

Trevor Hardie, 70, contracted the potentially deadly disease leptospirosis – a bacterial infection found in the urine of mice – that could have killed him within days.

Mr. Hardie suffered from a leaky heart, liver failure and acute kidney failure after contracting the disease in late April.

Trevor Hardie (pictured) continued to fight for life after contracting a deadly mouse disease

Trevor Hardie (pictured) continued to fight for life after contracting a deadly mouse disease

Mr. Hardie contracted a disease called leptospirosis which is transmitted through the urine of mice in Australia (photo: a pile of dead mice on a farm in New South Wales)

Mr. Hardie contracted a disease called leptospirosis which is transmitted through the urine of mice in Australia (photo: a pile of dead mice on a farm in New South Wales)

The hotel owner told me Daily telegram he initially thought he had ‘the flu and then Covid’ before being taken to Wollongong Hospital for treatment for five nights.

“I couldn’t walk, I was sweating all night, my kidneys and liver stopped it … it was the sickest I’d ever felt in my life, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone,” he said.

The 70-year-old also suffered from fever and flu-like symptoms after being diagnosed with another bacterial infection called ‘Q virus’.

Mr. Hardie warned rural residents to ‘make sure homes and shops are clean’ while he slowly recovers from his illness.

“ All it takes is for (mice) to scurry around in a barn, grain silo or a house, they pee all over the place and you somehow touch it … it knocked me off my feet for weeks, ” he said .

The hotel owner (pictured) initially thought he had 'the flu and then Covid' before being taken to Wollongong hospital for treatment for five nights

The hotel owner (pictured) initially thought he had ‘the flu and then Covid’ before being taken to Wollongong hospital for treatment for five nights

Dead mice are seen on a site in Coonamble in western New South Wales during the relentless plague

Dead mice are seen on a site in Coonamble in western New South Wales during the relentless plague

NSW Health confirmed that leptospirosis is spread by exposure to water, soil or mud contaminated by infected animals or by eating food or water spoiled by the urine of animals.

This is because the number of leptospirosis cases has increased by 700 percent in 2021, with 42 confirmed cases since the beginning of the year, compared to six in the previous year.

Professor Peter Collignon, an infectious disease expert, said rural residents affected by the mouse plague should take extra precautions to avoid contracting the disease.

“Regular hand washing and wearing some sort of protective shield, such as a mask, will reduce the likelihood of infected rodent urine getting into the eyes, nose or body,” he said.

Residents in rural NSW have stopped using their own pools after 24 mice were discovered after heavy rainfall (photo)

His illness comes when a farmers’ association warned that the out-of-control mouse plague in Australia could last up to two years if urgent action is not taken to kill millions of rodents.

Xavier Martin, the vice president of NSW Farmers, said growers are now abandoning paddocks for the mouse supply, fearing that the crops sown there in winter will be devoured before they can be harvested.

‘Without a concerted effort in the coming weeks, this could easily turn into a two-year bullying event,’ Martin warned as the government revealed it is ready to dispense one of the world’s deadliest poisons for free, once states approve it. good.

The chemical – bromadiolone, an anticoagulant that causes animals to bleed to death – is controversial because of the effects it could have on the wider environment.

And Mr. Martin has warned that it could come too late to stop the attack of mice, which one expert warned could spread quickly from the countryside to the cities.

Speak to the Daily telegrampest hunter Dieter Mafra warned that mice likely rides from land to cities like Sydney on food trucks and other vehicles.

As winter approaches, the mice are likely to take shelter in people’s homes, meaning scenes reported in rural areas – such as mice biting people in bed – will soon be seen in urban centers.

“They will travel to Sydney, I would say to August,” said Mr Mafra.

Mice are depicted falling into a large container of water and drowning as part of an improvised trap at a NSW farm.  Farmers are concerned about the effect of poison on farm dogs, pigsties and other animals

Mice are depicted falling into a large container of water and drowning as part of an improvised trap at a NSW farm. Farmers are concerned about the effect of poison on farm dogs, pigsties and other animals

The government has secured 5,000 gallons of the super-lethal rodent poison bromadiolone - offering to provide it for free once federal authorities approve its use

The government has secured 5,000 gallons of the super-lethal rodent poison bromadiolone – offering to provide it for free once federal authorities approve its use

The extent of Australia's disgusting mouse plague is shown by the CSIRO on this alarming new map (photo)

The extent of Australia’s disgusting mouse plague is shown by the CSIRO on this alarming new map (photo)

Australia suffers from periodic mouse infestations that typically affect grain-producing agricultural regions and tend to go in 10-year cycles.

2020 was a particularly good growing year after heavy rains ended two years of drought and created fertile growing conditions.

At the end of the season, this meant that farmers had large amounts of food to preserve, which they stored in silos and barns – which quickly became a breeding ground for mice.

What started in New South Wales has since spread to Queensland and South Australia and is showing no signs of slowing down.

A map created by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization shows how the number of sightings has increased and spread in recent months as mice move closer to the coast from the rural backcountry.

Residents of Elong Elong were shocked to discover that after 25 ml of rainfall in their water reservoirs, dead mice were decaying (photo)

Residents in rural NSW have stopped using their own pools after 24 mice were discovered after heavy rainfall (photo)

The mice have already caused millions of dollars in damage to homes and livelihoods, with the NSW government announcing a $ 50 million aid package to help those whose businesses have been affected.

But Mr. Martin warned that money – along with the deadly poison – could be too little and too late.

“The state government aid package is impractical, dysfunctional and weeks away, which is not helping farmers who need support right now to shrink mouse numbers and break this horrible relentless cycle,” he said Wednesday.

“After more than eight months of fighting the growing number of mice, farmers are still waiting for help from the state government to hit the ground running and provide practical support to our farming community,” said Martin.

The NSW government said on Thursday that it had collected 5,000 gallons of the super-lethal rodent poison bromadiolone – enough to treat about 95 tons of grain – and offered to provide it for free once federal authorities approve its use.

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