Rare rat-linked disease leaves 1 dead, 2 sickened in Bronx

Rare rat-linked disease leaves 1 dead, 2 sickened in Bronx

A rare bacterial disease carried by rats has killed one person in the Bronx and left two others struggling for their lives, the city health authorities confirmed.

According to the Bronx Health Department, three cases of the deadly bacterial disease of leptospirosis were first spotted in a one block radius of the city’s Concourse section more than two months ago.

Demetre Daskalakis, the department’s acting deputy commissioner, said in a statement that leptospirosis mostly affects animals and it rarely affects humans.

Speaking on the issue, Daskalakis added, “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 … two cases developed pulmonary hemorrhage and one died as a result of infection.”

From 2006 through 2016, there were merely 26 cases of the leptospirosis disease in New York City, or 1-3 cases per year. The median age of the patients was 42 years.

Symptoms of the potentially deadly disease include sudden onset of fever, headache, conjunctival suffusion, photophobia, nausea, vomiting, and pain in muscles.

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