Farmer battling out-of-control mouse plague is the first Australian to get deadly rodent-borne disease that would have killed him if he waited a day longer to get help
- Darrell Jordison caught rodent-borne lymphocytic choriomeningitis this year
- He was told by doctors he was on his death bed and had a fever of nearly 40C
- The disease is caught by coming into contact with urine from rodents like mice
- The farmer is believed to be the first case of the disease reported in Australia
A farmer has nearly lost his life after contracting a rodent-borne disease while battling regional Australia’s hellish mouse plague.
Darrell Jordison, who lives near Gulargambone in central western New South Wales, was hospitalised for a week in February this year after falling severely ill.
He had a fever of close to 40C, lost 11kg and had felt run-down for months.
Little did he know he’d contracted lymphocytic choriomeningitis – an extremely rare type of bacterial meningitis that’s believed to have never been recorded before in Australia.
When his wife desperately phoned an ambulance in February, he was told that if he went another night without help he wouldn’t have survived.
‘The doctor asked me why did I call the ambulance and he said that phone call saved my life,’ Mr Jordison told the Today Show.
Darrell Jordison, who lives near Gulargambone in central western New South Wales, was hospitalised for a week in February this year after falling severely ill from a disease carried by rodents
‘He said I wouldn’t have lasted into the morning.’
Mr Jordison said that even after his stint in hospital, doctors were unable to determine what was wrong with him for another five weeks.
He said as well as feeling like he’d been struck down with an extreme case of the flu, he was unable to deal with light and had a constant throbbing headache.
‘I hadn’t eaten. I kept thinking ”gee I hope I never get this sick again”,’ the farmer said.
‘I wasn’t taken any risks with the mice but I was told that just picking up a bale of hay that had some (mouse) urine on the string and not washing my hands was enough to get it.’
The farmer had actually contracted lymphocytic choriomeningitis – an extremely rare type of bacterial meningitis that’s believed to have never been recorded before in Australia
The shocking mathematics behind the lifecycle of mice is one of the main reasons the mouse plague inundating Australia’s eastern states is so terrifying.
Mr Jordison said the disease comes with a range of side affects but luckily he’s been able to make a full recovery and return to normal life on his farm.
Shockingly, the bacterial meningitis kills as many as one in ten who have caught it.
Plagues of mice continue to wreak havoc across regional Australia with many families detailing how they’ve felt the rodents crawl over them while they slept.
The lifecycle of mice is one of the main reasons the mouse plague inundating Australia’s eastern states is so terrifying.
The common mouse can live for up to two or three years – but female mice start reproducing at just six weeks of age.
Three weeks later they can give birth to ten youngsters, while the mother can potentially get pregnant again the very next day
If half of every litter is female – who will be mature enough to reproduce just six weeks later – those two original mice will have sparked of colony of almost 2,000 mice within five months.
Plagues of mice continue to wreak havoc across regional Australia with many families detailing how they’ve felt the rodents crawl over them while they slept (pictured is mice killed by farmer in NSW)
WHAT IS LYMPHOCYTIC CHORIOMENINGITIS?
Lymphocytic choriomeningitis is a rodent-borne disease that is a rare type of bacterial meningitis
The most common host of the disease is the average house mouse
Transmission occurs if a person has come into contact with urine, faeces or saliva from an infected rodent
Symptoms include fever, lack of appetite, muscle aches, headache, nausea, and vomiting and other flu-like symptoms
Mr Jordison’s case is believed to be the first of its kind in Australia but it is unreported, health authorities say