NYC encounters big rat urine issue

(MENAFN) New York City is grappling with a concerning uptick in cases of human leptospirosis, a disease transmitted through contact with animal urine, particularly from rats. The city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issued an advisory revealing that six individuals have been diagnosed with the illness thus far in 2024, compared to 24 cases reported throughout 2023, marking a substantial surge.

Leptospirosis, if untreated, can lead to severe complications such as kidney failure and liver damage. The disease is caused by various strains of bacteria found in animal urine, feces, contaminated water, or soil, posing a risk if it comes into contact with broken skin or mucous membranes. Common symptoms include fever, headaches, and chills.

New York City's rat population, among the largest in the United States, is believed to be a significant contributing factor to the rise in leptospirosis cases. Recent estimates from the city's pest control experts suggest that there are approximately three million rats roaming the city, representing a nearly 50 percent increase over the past decade. With rats being prolific breeders, capable of producing thousands of offspring annually, the city faces a formidable challenge in managing their population.

The surge in leptospirosis infections follows the appointment of Kathleen Corradi as New York City's first-ever director of rodent mitigation, colloquially known as the "rat czar," by Mayor Eric Adams. This move underscores the city's concerted efforts to address the burgeoning rat population and mitigate associated health risks.



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