Rare Rat-Related Disease Kills 1, Sickens 2 in New York


A rare disease associated with animals, particularly rats has killed one man in the Bronx and has left two others in the region severely ill, according to city officials.

The Health Department said that the particular bacterial disease known as leptospirosis was detected in three people in the New York region, within a one-block radius of the Concourse section of the borough over the past two months.

Acting deputy commissioner of the Health Department, Demetre Daskalakis said that “Human leptospirosis cases are very rare in New York City.”

“This is the first time a cluster of cases has been identified. All three cases had severe illness and were hospitalized with acute renal [kidney] and hepatic [liver] failure. Two cases developed pulmonary hemorrhage and one died as a result of infection,” Daskalakis was quoted as saying the New York Post.

One of the people affected by the virus was Braulio Balbuena Flores, who lives near Franz Sigel Park. Flores had spent two weeks at the Lincoln Hospital in intensive care after he was admitted on January 27 in a serious condition.

“I had a fever. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, whole body hurt, “ Flores told The Post on Tuesday. Although he has been released from the hospital, he is still suffering from an uncontrollable chatter of his jaw.

Reports state that the Health Department officials arrived on the scene on Tuesday along with Red Cross and gave asked the management to issue an immediate vacate order earlier in the day for all the basement apartment near where Flores lived.

“I have to leave now, and make an appointment to come back. I’ve lived here for 15 years,” Carlos Chaves, who lives in one of the residences, told The Post.

There were a total of 26 cases of leptospirosis reported in the New York City between the year 20016 and 2016.

Source: New York Post


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