Urine Alot of Trouble, Rat
Date Added: Dec. 15, 2002
Here's a hoax that's gone international. As with most urban legends, it tells the tragic tale of and extreme case of a real, but very rare threat.
Read this, it's very important.
A grocery store employee was sent to clean in a store in Maui, Hawai, last July, 1999. When he returned, he complained that the warehouse was really disgusting and that he had seen dried mice and/or rat excrement in some areas. A couple of days later, he started getting sick with a stomachache, joint pain, headache and he began to vomit.
He fell in bed and never got up. For two days he was very sick and weak. His blood sugar level dropped to 66 and his face and eyes were yellowish. He went to the emergency room in Pali Momi where they told him he was suffering from a massive attack on his organs. He died shortly after midnight. None of his co-workers made the connection between his work and his death, but the doctors specifically asked if he had been in a store, or exposed to dried mice or rat excrement at any time.
They said there was a virus (very similar to the Hanta virus) that lives in dried mice or rat excrement. (Recently, the Hanta virus has caused outbreaks in some Central American countries (Panama and Honduras for example, and El Salvador is on alert). Once dried, these excrements are like dust and can easily be inhaled or ingested if a person is not careful to wash their hands and face, or use protective clothing.
An autopsy was done to verify the doctor's suspicions. This is why is is extremely important to ALWAYS carefully (thoroughly) rinse the tops of canned foods and soda and clean the boxes of pasta, cereal, etc. Almost everything you buy in a grocery store was stored in a warehouse at one time or another, and many times, stores have rodents.
Most of us remember to wash vegetables and fruits, but we never think of boxed or canned food/drinks. The ugly truth is... even the most modern, highest class superstores have rats and mice. And almost certainly, the warehouses do too. Every time you buy a canned drink, PLEASE BE SURE TO CLEAN THE LID WITH RUNNING WATER AND SOAP, or, if that is not possible, drink it with a straw.
A friend of the family died after drinking a can of soda. A brief investigation by the Center of Disease Control in Atlanta discovered the cause. The lid was encrusted with dried rat urine, which is toxic and obviously lethal!!!!
Canned drinks and other foods are stored in warehouses and containers that are usually infected with rodents and then transported to the distributors without being cleaned properly.
What are you going to do with this information? Probably pass it on to people who are important to you.. This is what I'm doing now.
There is no reason to believe this story is true. Even the original, unchanged version contains too little information (like names and dates) to verify it.
This chain first surfaced in October, 1998. Later versions add a great deal of information (the validity of which is extremely suspect), change the location of the doomed store clerk and include translations into other languages. Here's a version that appeared in 2001 in South Africa:
A stock clerk was sent to clean up a storeroom at their Pretoria location. 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 feeling like he was coming down with stomach flu, achy joints, headache, and he started throwing up. He went to bed and never really got up. Within two days he was so ill and weak, his blood sugar count was down to 66 and his face and eyeballs were yellow. He was rushed to an emergency room at Johannesburg, where they said he was suffering from massive organ failure. He died shortly before midnight.
None of us would have ever made the connection between his job and his death, but the doctors 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/mouse droppings. Once dried, these droppings are like dust and can be easily inhaled or ingested if a person is not careful to wash their hands and face thoroughly, or wear protective gear. An autopsy was conducted to verify the doctors' suspicions. This is why you MUST carefully rinse off the tops of any canned sodas or foods, and wipe off pasta packaging, cereal boxes, etc.
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 fruit but never think of boxes and cans. The ugly truth is that even the most modern, upper class, superstores have rats and mice, and their warehouses most assuredly do as well.
Whenever you buy any canned soft drink, please make sure that you wash the top with running water and soap, or if not available, drink the soda with a straw.AND Beers cans with straws as well.
An investigation of soda cans by the Centers for Disease Control in Johannesburg uncovered that the tops of soda cans can be encrusted with dried rat's urine, which is toxic and lethal. Canned drinks and other foodstuffs are stored in warehouses and cargo containers that are usually infested with rodents and then get transported to retail outlets without being properly cleaned.
Please forward this message to the people you care about.
Someone has added a nice overview of the hantavirus that is pretty accurate. Unfortunately, this adds undue believability to the chain. The Centers for Disease Control call this e-mail untrue and deny involvement in any type of investigation. They encourage you to get the facts straight and learn more about hantavirus at their web site. Break this chain!
References: About.com, CDC Statement