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In New York there is an outbreak of a dangerous disease carried by rats


ForumDaily New York

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Rat urine contributes to increased incidence of influenza-like illness in New York City. Mayor Eric Adams wants to remove trash bags from the streets. He stated that “plastic bags breed rodents,” reports People.

New York is fighting rats. Mayor Adams said April 16 that the city is working to address rising infections from leptospirosis, a bacterial disease caused by rat urine. Read about the garbage revolution in New York in our article.

“We understand that rodents not only ruin our lives, but also threaten our health,” Adams said. “This is a real problem.”

On the subject: Rats in New York seize and damage cars: repairs cost hundreds of dollars

According to the Cleveland Clinic, this bacterial disease causes flu-like symptoms. Its spread occurs due to the fact that “contaminated animal urine enters water or soil, and from there into the human body: through the nose, mouth, eyes or skin breaks.”

“This may lead to multiple organ failure with a risk of death,” the National Library of Medicine warned.

Plan to solve the problem

Over the course of a decade, an average of three cases of leptospirosis were reported per year in New York City.
But since 2020, this number has been growing. Last year, 24 cases were registered, and in 2024 – already 6.

Part of the city's rat control plan includes eliminating plastic trash bags from sidewalks.

“We are driving rats out of our city. It’s unlikely that this will be possible if plastic bags are left on the street, Adams said. – The bags are rodents. Get them off our streets and you will make a significant difference to the rat problem.”

Last year, the city hired its first "Rat Czar," Kathleen Corradi, to combat the rat problem and invested $3,5 million in the effort.

The city is moving toward a strategy of using trash containers instead of bags.

“New Yorkers throw away 20 million kilograms of trash every day. That’s about a hundred Boeing 747s,” said Deputy Mayor Mira Joshi. – If we look at the impact containerization has on areas, we will see a decrease in the number of rats in the control zone. For example, declines have been observed in the Harlem area, where an “accelerated rat reduction plan” is in place.

Regarding the spread of leptospirosis, Deputy Mayor Williams-Isom said that "people handling large quantities of plastic bags of rubbish" need to "wear gloves".

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