I wrote about the Grand Jury in Orange County Ca. studying the rodent control problem in Orange County in other postings. But here is an article written by a New York reported that I thought was important to share. You May think that what happens in New York stays in New York but in term of infectious diseases, that not true. The Hantavirus mention in this article was found in roof rats in Villa Park Flood Control Basin in Orange in December, 1998. Before that finding the experts in Orange County said neither the roof rats carry that virus or Norway rats were found to carry that virus.( the rats studied in New York were Norway Rats) Here the article:
By Kemberly Richardson at WABC Study says NYC rats carry 18 new viruses
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
NEW YORK -- It's a first of its kind of study on rats. The creatures have long been associated with filth. It turns out the city's rat population carries 18 new viruses.
I see more than four or five at a time," said Walter Carpenter, a Midtown resident.
Right this second, you may not see them but they're there, crawling around.
"I see them early in the morning, they just keep coming, you'll see them," Carpenter said.
A new study which looked at rats in five spots in Manhattan revealed the pests are far grosser then we thought.
"I was pretty shocked," said Peter Daszak, of EcoHealth Alliance.
Peter Daszak heads up EcoHealth Alliance and says this study, the first of its kind, by a leading researcher at Columbia University, is a game changer.
"If we don't do anything about it and continue to let rats get in and out of our restaurants, we're going to see a real public health issue arise, this is a wakeup call," Daszak said.
Researchers discovered 18 new viruses, including a nasty one they've never seen here before, called the Seoul Hantavirus, a potentially life threatening bug.
"The problem is rats have evolved with us, they spread around the world as we've moved around the world, really good at living hand in hand with human populations," Daszak said.
Here's the problem; rats multiply really, really fast, over the course of a year, a pair can produce more than 100 offspring, and so on, and so on, and so on.
Researchers also came across bacteria, which can cause gastrointestinal problems.
On the flip side, there is a pair of viruses very similar to the Hepatitis C virus, which down the line could help doctor's find a vaccine for the illness in humans.
Bottom line is that this is a serious situation but not yet reason to panic.
The study could not say how sick New Yorkers were getting from these rat-borne agents.

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