Dead, 2 Sickened By Rare Rat-Carried Disease In The Bronx
"The Health Department has identified a cluster of three cases of leptospirosis on one block in the Concourse area of the Bronx", said Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett, MD, MPH, said in the release.
City officials say the cases, occurring in the past two months, are the first such concentrated cluster. Leptospirosis can be treated with antibiotics.
These animals can spread the disease in their urine, contaminating water, soil, or food.
The Leptospira bacteria will then enter the body through open wounds or mucous membranes, though person-to-person transmission is rare.
It is important to note that the disease is rarely spread from person to person, so it is important to talk with your veterinarian to get pets vaccinated for leptospirosis.
NY doctors and medical providers are asking residents to report all suspected cases to the Health Department. If these bacteria infect your body, you could develop leptospirosis, which is very rare in the U.S. In fact, there were less than 40 cases reported in America in 2015.
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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are 100 to 200 cases of leptospirosis each year in the country.
Two people were diagnosed with leptospirosis in December, and another case was diagnosed in February.
Of the three patients, two have recovered from the infection, officials said. The infection thrives in warm, most environments in both rural and urban settings, officials said. Commons symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting and diarrhea.
If you can not avoid areas where rats have been seen, or if you are cleaning areas where rats have been, use a solution of one part household bleach and ten parts water to kill the leptospirosis bacteria.
People should also protect themselves while cleaning and make sure to wear rubber gloves, boots, masks and eyewear.
Residents living in illegal apartments in the basement of 750 Grand Concourse were ordered to vacate the building. After deploying numerous tools to address persistent problems at this building, we are working with housing advocates and tenants to lodge an action against the landlord to take over operations.
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