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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Kai Schreiber

A rare deadly disease linked to rats has appeared in the Bronx
Written by
Will Gleason

A rare disease called leptospirosis has left one person dead, and two others fighting for their lives, in the Bronx.

The cases of the disease, which is linked to rats, were all identified within a one-block radius of the Concourse section of the Bronx. It’s the first time that a cluster of leptospirosis has ever been identified. 

All three of those who were infected had severe symptoms including kidney and liver failure. The bacterial disease is spread through the urine of infected animals. 

In the last ten years, NYC has seen 26 cases of leptospirosis, but the clustering of the cases makes this situation unique as the illness if very rarely passed between humans. The city is now working to reduce the rat population in the neighborhood.

Other symptoms of the disease include fever, chills, muscle aches and nausea. You can find more official information on leptospirosis here.


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