This is a hoax/chain e-mail/urban legend which claims that rat
urine is toxic to humans, and the story is just pure make believe, there is no
such documented case in Maui or elsewhere in Hawaii. It first appeared in 1998.
There are a number of diseases which are spread by rats, but usually
only by sick rats (which are infected with a disease themselves). These
include: Weil's Disease (Leptospirosis), Hantavirus, Rabies, etc.
As with most urban legend there are some facts in the story,
but as usual they are only used to try and make the story more believable and
viable. The CDC
have debunked this specific hoax.
A stock clerk was sent to clean up a storeroom in
Hawaii. When he got back, he was complaining that the storeroom was really
filthy and that he had noticed dried mouse or rat droppings in some areas.
A couple of days later, he started to feel like he was coming down with a
stomach flu, complained of sore joints and headaches, and began to vomit.
He went to bed and never really got up again. Within two days he was
severely ill and weak. His blood sugar count was down to 66, and his face
and eyeballs were yellow. He was rushed to the emergency at Pali-Momi,
where he was diagnosed to be suffering from massive organ failure. He
died shortly before midnight.
No one would have made the connection between his
job and his death,
had it not been for a doctor who specifically asked if he had been in a
warehouse or exposed to dried rat or mouse droppings at any time. They
said there is a virus (much like the Hanta virus) that lives in dried rat
and mouse droppings. Once dried, these droppings are like dust and can
easily be breathed in or ingested if a person does not wear protective
gear or fails to wash face and hands thoroughly. An autopsy was performed
on the clerk to verify the doctor's suspicions.
This is why it is extremely important to ALWAYS
carefully rinse off the
tops of canned sodas or foods, and to wipe off pasta packaging, cereal
boxes, and so on. Almost everything you buy in a supermarket was stored in
a warehouse at one time or another, and stores themselves often have
rodents. Most of us remember to wash vegetables and fruits but never think
of boxes and cans. The ugly truth is, even the most modern, upper-class,
super store has rats and mice. And their warehouse most assuredly does!
Whenever you buy any canned soft drink, please make sure that you wash the
top with running water and soap or, if that is not available, drink with a
The investigation of soda cans by the Center for
Disease Control in
Atlanta discovered that the tops of soda cans can be encrusted with
dried rat's urine, which is so toxic it can be lethal. Canned drinks and
other foodstuffs are stored in warehouses and containers that are usually
infested with rodents, and then they get transported to retail outlets
without being properly cleaned.
Please forward this message to the people you care
about. (I JUST
If you receive a message about this then please ignore it and don't pass it on as this only serves to propagate