Explosion of new pathogens in NYC rats; ‘public health nightmare’ unfolding

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
By Paul Martin

by: L.J. Devon
Thursday, November 13, 2014

It’s anyone’s worst nightmare — lying in bed, startled half awake in the middle of the night, feeling something jostling around in the bed sheets. Half-shut eyes start to spread wide open as paranoia and fear set in. That’s when a squeaky chirp pierces the dead silence of the room. Panic floods the nerves. Jumping up, there it is… an enormous rat had made its way into the bed, staring up with gleaming, haunting eyes.

For New York City, rats are about to become more than someone’s worst nightmare. They are about to become “a public health nightmare.” According to new research from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, New York City rats not only are exploding in numbers but are carrying around at least 18 new viruses that have never been discovered before in science. Pest control firm Orkin lists New York City as one of the top four “rattiest” American cities, along with Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

“Everybody’s looking all over the world, in all sorts of exotic places, including us. But nobody’s looking right under our noses,” said Ian Lipkin, a neurology and pathology professor at Columbia University.

Rats carrying around new pathogens, welcoming new viruses into cities

The Rest…HERE

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