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New diseases found in New York City rats

Jennifer P

Rats are ridden with disease? No kidding. But, based on a recent study performed on 133 of New York City’s measly pests, researches have found the answer to that unspoken question: What kind of disease are rats carrying?

Or I guess we should say disease(s). According to reports from The New York Times, scientists from Columbia University trapped rats in an unspecified park in Manhattan—our bet is on MacArthur Park—and after examination, at least 18 viruses have been discovered.

It’s not surprising that some of these pathogens cause food-borne illnesses, but researches discovered traces of Seoul Hantavirus, which has never been found in New York before. It’s still unknown if the virus has spread to humans (tests are being performed), but we wouldn't start playing Dr. Dolittle anytime soon.

Maybe this new discovery is the push we need in order to end New York City’s war on rats? Nah, apparently health officials said the study would not lead to any changes in how the city normally deals with the pests.

But if you want our opinion...EW!


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