In New York City, several cases of a rare bacterial infection have emerged. The infection, which spreads by coming in contact with rat urine, has claimed the life of one person and sickened two others.
Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that can affect a person’s kidneys and liver, comes as no surprise to one neighborhood apartment complex that was hit with a barrage of health violations in December for the deplorable living conditions.
The city stated that there are 79 open violations at the building and one information order. There are also 25 open construction code violations dating back to 2004.
The Health Department ordered the landlord to immediately remediate the conditions at 750 Grand Concourse (on both the exterior and interior of the building) including the basement and affected apartments.
On February 13, after the third case of Leptospirosis was confirmed at the apartment in the Concourse area of the borough, the Health Department decided to take measures to reduce the massive rat population in the area.
This is the first group of Leptospirosis infections ever confirmed in New York City. The infected block is home to two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. City officials have confirmed that there were no rats found inside of the schools.
The illness can be serious, but is treatable with readily available antibiotics.
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