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A new infectious disease is spreading in New York – experts warn

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Jiya Saini
Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com

The city of New York has recorded an upsurge in human cases of leptospirosis, a bacterial disease spread by rats.

Last month, the city’s health agency reported 14 cases of leptospirosis, an exceptionally high figure given that only New York has documented 57 occurrences in the 15 years since 2006, and warned healthcare practitioners to be on the lookout for symptoms.

According to the announcement, 13 people were hospitalized with acute kidney and hepatic failure in the first 14 cases, and one person died as a result of an infection.

A health official told Insider that there was the 15th case of the zoonotic disease last week and that the person infected appears to have recovered.

Celia Quinn, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Disease Control, stated that the health department had been doing inspections and liaising with property owners to undergo rat remediation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States issued a warning in May that rats were expected to become more aggressive as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The health department said New York City has reported a total of 57 cases between 2006 and 2020.

The health agency targeted a Bronx area in 2017 after one person died and two others became critically ill with leptospirosis, including a man who had the first reported incidence of testicular enlargement related with the condition.

Animals and pets can also become ill, and in the same year, New York issued a veterinary medical notice.

The Big Apple is home to millions of rats and is at third place on Orkin’s list of America’s “Rattiest Cities,” trailing only Chicago and Los Angeles.

According to the CDC, humans become infected with leptospirosis by contact with diseased animals’ urine or other bodily fluids – with the exception of saliva – or through contact with water, soil, or food contaminated with infected animals’ urine.

High fever, headache, chills, muscle pains, vomiting, jaundice, red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and a rash are all symptoms of the condition. Some people, however, may have no symptoms at all.

The interval between being exposed to a contaminated source and being ill can range from two to four weeks.

Following the first stage of the disease, the patient may recover but become unwell again, and the second stage is more severe, resulting in kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, respiratory difficulty, and death.

Without treatment, the disease can continue anywhere from a few days to more than three weeks, and recovery might take months.

Antibiotics, such as doxycycline or penicillin, are used to treat leptospirosis, and should be administered early in the course of the disease.

People can lower their chances of contracting the disease by not swimming in contaminated water and avoiding contact with potentially sick animals.

According to the agency, leptospirosis is most common in temperate or tropical regions, and the incidence of leptospirosis infection among urban youngsters appears to be rising.

Image Credit: Getty

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