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Swedish rats - an increasingly major threat to public health?

Pressrelease 30-11-2015

Rats in the vicinity of apartments, cafes and shopping centres pose an imminent threat to the health of local residents and visitors. 13 percent of the analysed rats were tested positive for the most severe variant of the Leptospira bacteria. The rats that were infected were those that were found in the vicinity of apartments, cafes and shopping centres.

For the first time since the 1930’s, researchers have found rats that carry antibodies against the most serious form of Leptospira, a bacteria that can cause serious illness in humans such as meningitis and leptospirosis (often called Weil’s disease or field fever). The fact that carriers of Leptospira are living among us is new and troubling knowledge. Currently, there is no commercial vaccine for protecting humans against the bacteria.

At the same time, statistics show that the number of rodents in our society are increasing and that they are becoming increasingly resistant to rodenticides.

In order to reduce the risk of people being affected by serious diseases, it is important to increase the awareness of the rats ability to spread pathogens and to find effective methods to reduce the risk of infection.

Published: 30-11-2015

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