Rats in NYC Carrying Fleas that Have Bubonic Plague
Underneath the busy streets of New York City lurks a sinister disease called ‘black plague’. The rats that live in the underground sewer system are carrying fleas on their backs that have the potential for transmitting the bubonic plague to people.
Matthew Frye, an urban entomologist with Cornell University’s New York State Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program, conducted the first study of it’s kind since the 1920‘s and discovered the scary reality.
Oriental rat fleas are traveling in the fur of NYC rats and the bites of those fleas can pass on a number of diseases, including the bubonic plague. The bite of an infected flea spreads the plague to a human. But bubonic plague is not all the Oriental rats fleas carry.
The researchers at Cornell and Columbia in conjunction with the Amen Clinics
also discovered the fleas carry a host of other viral and bacterial diseases that could infect humans if the rat fleas bite them.
The authors of the NYC rat flea study have suggested to NYC officials that the rat population be monitored along with their fleas. It is also suggested that people keep food away from places where rats may congregate and proliferate to help keep the rodent population to a minimum in areas where they might come into contact with people.