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New York City Posts Record Case Number For Bacterial Disease

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issued a health advisory regarding the upward trend of human leptospirosis cases.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), leptospirosis is a “bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. In humans, it can cause a wide range of symptoms, some of which may be mistaken for other diseases.”

“Without treatment, Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, respiratory distress, and even death,” the CDC writes.

“Human leptospirosis infections in NYC are largely associated with exposure to environments and materials contaminated with rat urine,” the NYC Department of Health wrote.

NYC recorded 24 human leptospirosis cases in 2023 – the highest number in a single year.

In 2024, 6 cases have been reported to date.

“The alarming advisory comes exactly a year after New York City Mayor Eric Adams appointed Kathleen Corradi as the city’s first-ever citywide director of rodent mitigation, which his office dubbed the ‘rat czar.’ The appointment of Ms. Corradi as ‘rat czar’ came as Mr. Adams’s office announced a $3.5 million investment in an accelerated rat reduction plan,” Chief Nerd wrote, citing The Epoch Times.

“Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease that is present globally and caused by several species of a spirochete bacteria of the genus Leptospira. In NYC, the primary species is Leptospira interrorgans, serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae which is associated with the Norway rat. Infected animals excrete the bacteria in their urine, and bacteria can persist in warm, moist environments for weeks. Transmission occurs through direct contact with infectious urine or urine contaminated water, soil, or food, entering the body through open wounds or mucous membranes,” the NYC Department of Health wrote.

“Twenty-four people diagnosed with leptospirosis were reported in 2023. This exceeds the total number of cases reported to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC Health Department) in any prior year. For comparison, the average number of locally acquired cases during 2021 to 2023 was 15 per year, and 3 cases per year during 2001 to 2020,” the advisory continued.

From The Epoch Times:

While it’s unclear how many rats there are in New York City, research in mid-2023 from MMPC Pest Control suggests the city’s rat population has grown to around 3 million.

To come up with this estimate, the company said it used the same methodology used in 2014 by statistician Jonathan Auerbach, who said at the time that the city’s rat population was around 2 million.
New York City is home to one of the biggest populations of Norway rats, which are known to infest buildings and spread disease.

“Unfortunately for New Yorkers, they’re a difficult problem to solve. Rats are intelligent and resilient, enabling them to adapt to various environments. They can even learn to avoid traps and baits,” the pest control firm wrote in its analysis.

“And in a bustling place like New York City, where there’s an abundance of food (think overflowing bins, piles of trash bags on curbs, and outdoor dining establishments) as well as hiding places (subway systems, sewers, and construction zones), it’s no wonder they’re thriving,” it added.

“The disease made headlines two years ago, after several dogs were said to have possibly died from leptospirosis they might have caught at the McCarren Park dog run in Williamsburg,” Gothamist noted.

Gothamist reports:

According to health officials, local cases of human leptospirosis typically arise from residential or occupational exposure to rat urine, including when people handle trash bags or bins. Direct transmission between people is rare.

Still, the health department advises New Yorkers to avoid places where rats may have urinated. For those who can’t, or have to clean such areas, officials recommend using gloves and a solution that’s one part bleach and 10 parts water, as well as washing one’s hands with soap.

The department’s notice on Friday urged medical professionals to “consider leptospirosis in any patient presenting with compatible illness, especially when there is evidence of acute renal and hepatic failure, and possibly pulmonary hemorrhage.” Providers should find out if patients have recently visited tropical or subtropical areas, and run tests to rule out the disease, officials said.

Leptospirosis is usually treated with antibiotics, such as doxycycline or penicillin, and treatment should begin as soon as possible after exposure, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This is a Guest Post from our friends over at 100 Percent Fed Up.

View the original article here.


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