I read an article in La Presse that said that people who keep rats as pets are suceptible to a "potentially fatal disease called Haverhill Fever."
Two people who had rats as pets were diagnosed with that disease and died 12 hours after being admitted to the hospital. So basically, if I wanna have a rat, I would have to wear gloves while handling it and shit.
It’s awful really because rats are friendly animals, cuddly and fuzzy. They get attached to humans as easily as dogs do and they are cleaner than what most people think.
The fact that this discovery was made is good on one hand so that people with rats can protect themselves against this potentially fatal disease. But on the other hand, it reinforces the negative stigma that rats are dirty and carry diseases everywhere they go.
Despite all that, I still want a couple of rats!