Be proactive, not reactive—that’s the advice of Dr. Manny Alvarez in regards to local officials around the country facing rat infestations. In the Bronx, one person has died this year and two more fallen ill due to leptospirosis spread by rats.
NYC rat control services face a constant barrage of reports. Keeping the population in check will always be important. When rats nest in restaurants, apartment buildings, or homes, they inevitably spread bacteria and viruses everywhere they crawl and leave waste.
Dr. Alvarez likens the potential of a leptiospira bacteria outbreak to the 14th century plague. Rats spread bacteria by carrying infected fleas, passing infected bodily fluids into human areas, and also by biting people.
Leptospirosis poses health risks including:
• Joint and muscle pain
• Gastrointestinal distress
• Flu-like symptoms, chill, fever, fatigue, sore throat
• Kidney and liver damage, meningitis
• Potential death
• Illness in dogs, too
How People and City Officials Should React
Illness spread by rats does not happen randomly. Outbreaks occur geographically, with many people in a neighborhood or even on the same city block getting sick. That’s why NYC rat control must respond aggressively when dangerous pathogens like leptospira have been found; possibly treating ground zero of an epidemic.
Other metro areas should watch out for growing rat problems and take action. In the city, businesses and property managers need to bring in professional NYC rat control to fight infestations at the local level.