Mouse numbers have exploded in the region and the Wimmera Health Care Group is taking measures to ensure the vermin don’t impact on patient care.
Wimmera Health Care Group acting CEO Mark Knights said with mice able to fit through a gap as small as 8 millimetres, there was no way to ensure they didn’t enter hospital buildings.
"While we can’t completely keep them out of all our buildings, we can take a range of measures to keep numbers as low as possible and remove trapped mice as quickly as possible," Mr Knights said.
"Our contracted pest controllor has increased traps and our engineering team are blocking holes where possible. Our infection control and environmental services team are co-ordinating extra cleaning services and high traffic and high risk areas are being closely monitored."
Mr Knights said the organisation was taking mice numbers seriously due to the health risk they pose.
"Mouse droppings, urine and feet can contaminate and cause illnesses such as salmonella, campylobacter and ring worms in humans. Mice can also carry fleas," he said.
"We are not using baits as this can cause issues with the smell of deceased mice.
"We are taking an organisation-wide approach and have asked all staff to play their part by keeping vigilant and reporting any sightings and also doing what they can to reduce the risk by ensuring areas are clean, not leaving food in offices or staff rooms, shutting doors and ensuring hand hygiene procedures are followed at all times.
"Although difficult to control, we are doing everything possible to reduce the number of mice. Expert advice from the Department of Health and Human Services has been sought with an emphasis on infection prevention and control."