Leptospirosis: New York Rat Pee Disease Kills 1, 2 Others Ill

16 February, 2017, 01:00 | Author: Lorraine Moran

The cluster of three people in one city block of the Bronx borough were diagnosed with leptospirosis after becoming severely ill within the last two months, the department reported yesterday.

Three people in The Bronx have been sickened, one fatally, with a rare disease called leptospirosis, which is transmitted through rat urine.

A New York City resident has died of a bacterial disease commonly spread by contact with rat urine, and two more were recently diagnosed with the disease, city health officials say.

According to people living in the building, the rats have been an issue for years, and nothing has been done. The rare disease is leptospirosis, caused by a bacterium. Florence Howard, one of the residents, said, "They run from underneath your stove, your refrigerator, my apartment is very clean, but it just doesn't matter".

The city says it's reducing the rat population in the area and educating residents about the disease.

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The Health Department, in partnership with its sister agencies the Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and Buildings Departments (DOB), is working with building owners in the affected area to remediate rodent infestations.

Between 2006 and 2016, there were a total of 26 cases of leptospirosis in New York City, with eight of those cases in the Bronx, noted the New York Times.

"This illness can be serious but is treatable with readily available antibiotics", city Health Department officials said in a statement released Tuesday. Rat urine can enter the body through your eyes, nose, or mouth, or through wounds and cuts in your skin, the department says. It is the first cluster of leptospirosis cases ever identified in New York City. Commons symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting and diarrhea. Rarely, infected persons may develop a life-threatening illness that affects their kidneys and liver. Leptospirosis Precautions: - Avoid contact with rats or with places where rats may have urinated.

Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after any contact with areas where rats may live. You can find more official information on leptospirosis here.

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