Leptospirosis cases on the rise in NYC – symptoms include kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure and death
By Ethan Huff // Apr 17, 2024

People in New York City are reportedly getting sick with a disease called leptospirosis that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says "affects humans and animals."

An illness stemming from bacteria of the genus Leptospira, leptospirosis reportedly spreads through exposure to rat urine, rats being a prolific problem throughout the filthy Big Apple.

Symptoms of leptospirosis are wide ranging, often being mistaken for other diseases. Such symptoms include everything from kidney damage and meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord) to liver failure, respiratory disease and even sudden death.

"Human leptospirosis infections in NYC are largely associated with exposure to environments and materials contaminated with rat urine," the NYC Department of Health said in a statement.

(Related: After the failure of the monkeypox scare, the powers that be seem to be trying their hand at creating a bird flu and now maybe a leptospirosis "pandemic.")

Dirty New York City

In 2023, New York City reported 24 human cases of leptospirosis, this being the highest number of cases ever reported in a single year. It may not sound like much, but this figure shows an upward trend in cases.

So far in 2024, there have been six reported cases of leptospirosis.

Chief Nerd, citing an article from the Epoch Times, tweeted that the news about all these increasing leptospirosis cases in New York City comes exactly one year after Mayor Eric Adams appointed Kathleen Corradi as the city's first-ever citywide director of rodent mitigation.

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Dubbed the "rat czar," Corradi's new position is the product of a $3.5 million investment by Adams' office that aims to develop "an accelerated rat reduction plan" for the city.

"Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease that is present globally and caused by several species of a spirochete bacteria of the genus Leptospira," the NYC Department of Health said. "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."

In an average year, there are about 15 reported cases of leptospirosis in New York City. The 2023 caseload was nearly double that, and it remains to be seen how many cases occur for the entirety of 2024.

It is being reported that New York City's rat population is on the rise as well, having risen to around three million. In 2014, there were said to be just two million rats living in the Big Apple, representing a 50 percent increase in just a decade.

"Unfortunately for New Yorkers, they're a difficult problem to solve," said MMPC Pest Control about New York City's rat problem. "Rats are intelligent and resilient, enabling them to adapt to various environments. They can even learn to avoid traps and baits."

"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."

A few years back, a pair of dogs was also reported to have contracted leptospirosis at the McCarren Park dog run in Williamsburg, this showing how people's pets are also being negatively affected by the city's rat problem.

"New York City is the nation's second-most bed bug-infested city, too," one commenter noted about the filth of the Big Apple. "Yucky place. Not fit for a swamp creature."

More related news can be found at Plague.info.

Sources for this article include:



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