Rare ratrelated disease shows up in New York City

first_img Email Rats have long been one of the world’s most ubiquitous—and infamous—forms of urban wildlife, synonymous with pestilence and squalor. They’ve attracted only sporadic attention from scientists, however. Much about the secretive city rat—chiefly the Norway rat, Rattus norvegicus—remains a mystery. But as the world’s urban population surges and more people crowd into rat-plagued neighborhoods… the rodents are getting renewed attention from researchers and public health experts. Over the past decade, scientists in a number of cities have launched efforts to better understand rat behavior and evolution, and the role they play in spreading disease. Liesel Elliott/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0) The New York Times reports that “New York City is investigating three recent cases — one of them fatal — of a rare disease transmitted through rat urine.” The rare disease is leptospirosis, caused by a bacterium. The news reminded ScienceInsider that leptospirosis was the subject of an award-winning feature by Science’s contributing correspondent Warren Cornwall in May 2016.As Cornwall reported from Pau da Lima,  a slum on the outskirts of Salvador, Brazil: By Science News StaffFeb. 15, 2017 , 1:45 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe In Pau da Lima, that research has meant tromping through raw sewage and coping with dangerous gangs. Rare rat-related disease shows up in New York City Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The Times notes that this is the first time that a cluster of leptospirosis cases has been seen in New York City. “From 2006 to 2016, 26 cases were reported in the city,” it reports, and “the Bronx had the highest number, eight.” The disease is treatable with antibiotics.last_img read more