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Updated December 21st, 2023 at 12:44 IST

What is Mouse Fever? The new outbreak which is mowing down Russia's combat ops in Ukraine

Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, an outbreak of deadly “mouse fever” is mowing down Russia's prowess in operating on the Ukrainian frontline.

Russian troops operating in Ukraine are suffering from Mouse Fever
Russian troops operating in Ukraine are suffering from Mouse Fever | Image:AP
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Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, an outbreak of deadly “mouse fever” is mowing down Russia's prowess in operating on the Ukrainian frontline. Battlefield combat, drone strikes and artillery fire are not the only dangers the Russian troops are facing on Ukrainian soil, the deadly fever transmitted through rodents is also posing a major hindrance to Russia's operation in Ukraine. The news of the mouse fever outbreak was reported by Ukraine's Intelligence Directorate on Tuesday. 

According to the statement released by the Ukrainian directorate, the outbreak was first reported in the Kupiansk where there is active presence of the Russian soldiers. The intelligence body also stated that the Russian soldiers were suffering from the fever due to inadequate provision of winter uniforms and lack of medical care. “Defence Intelligence of Ukraine informs that dissatisfaction is growing in the units of the Russian occupying army due to inadequate provision of winter uniforms, as well as complete lack of medical care,” the Russian intelligence said in a statement.  “Thus, in the Kupiansk direction, an outbreak of the so-called “mouse fever” has been recorded in many units of the Russian invaders,” the statement further reads. 

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What is the Mouse Fever? 

According to the statement released by the Ukrainian intelligence body, the disease is transmitted to humans from rodents. The fever usually spreads through direct contact with the pathogens, by inhaling mouse faeces dust or by the ingestion of mouse faeces in food.  In the Tuesday statement, the Ukrainian body mentioned that the complaint about the fever from the Russian soldiers is being ignored by the Kremlin, making matters worse. “Complaints about fever from the Russian army personnel involved in the war against Ukraine were ignored by the command, considering them as another manifestation of evasion from participation in hostilities. In addition, at the first stage of its course, “mouse fewer” resembles the common flu,” the statement reads. The clinical term used to describe the “Mouse Fever” is Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS). 

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What are the symptoms of Mouse Fever? 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Mouse Fever or HFRS is usually developed within 1 to 2 weeks after a person is exposed to infectious material. Some of the initial symptoms are intense headaches, back and abdominal pain, fever, chills, nausea, and blurred vision. Individuals may have flushing of the face, inflammation or redness of the eyes, or a rash. If the person suffering from these sypmotoms don't get proper medical attention, then the matter can get worse.  Later symptoms can include low blood pressure, acute shock, vascular leakage, and acute kidney failure, which can cause severe fluid overload. The severity of the disease varies depending upon the virus causing the infection. 

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How is HFRS treated, can it turn fatal? 

As per the advisory from CDC, depending upon which virus is causing the mouse fever, death occurs in less than 1% to as many as 15% of patients. Careful management of the patient’s fluid (hydration) and electrolyte (e.g., sodium, potassium, chloride) levels, maintenance of correct oxygen and blood pressure levels are considered best methods to treat the disease. If the kidney is affected, then dialysis my be required to correct severe fluid overload. 

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Published December 21st, 2023 at 12:43 IST

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