New York: Environment, Pollution, Disease

ratsNew York City has always been plagued with rats as it were. This is not a new phenomenon. Indeed, just two years ago the city’s health department made a staggering 95,000 rat inspections. But it’s not just the rats (gross as they are) that are causing a problem for New York residents. It’s actually what lives on them – the insects – that can infect residents with some of the most awful diseases including plague.

It might seem like plague is no longer an issue, given that the last time the US witnessed this was in 1925 on the other side of the States in Los Angeles. So it was the first time in close to a century that the amount of fleas and lice on NY rats were calculated. There have been reports published on how to deal with rat problems – that are actually people problems – in New York. Because when there are rats, there is disease and when there is disease, this impacts the health of the people.

But New Yorkers really shouldn’t feel so bad. They are not the only ones encountering these vermin. In fact, in a recent study of the 10 most rat-infested cities, New York only came in at Number 10 (with Deshnoke, North West India, being Number 1 and Chicago, Atlanta and other US cities coming in before New York).

Still, the estimate of NY rats is that it is 1:1 ratio to people. That’s not good.   But in 2013 the municipal authorities did attempt to undertake a way of sterilizing the rats. Still, the issue remains. And New Yorkers – understandably – are worried about how the rats and what they are carrying will impact pollution and ultimately their health.