Are You Ready for COVID Rats, NYC?
New York City was the epicenter of the US-based coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic is long gone, but the aftereffects might last for years.I’m not talking about those afflicted with long COVID, though that is an issue for some Americans. Reportedly, the Big Apple is being besieged by COVID-carrying rats, and yes—they can transmit the virus to humans. This new finding has prompted scientists to make a call for more research into how animals play a role in pandemics
New York City rodents can carry the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 – and researchers fear it could be transmitted to humans, according to a new study.
The new research, published Thursday in the American Society for Microbiology “mBio,” determined that the rats could be infected with the Alpha, Delta and Omicron variants.
“Our findings highlight the need for further monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 in rat populations for potential secondary zoonotic transmission to humans,” Dr. Henry Wan, the study’s principal investigator, said in a statement.
“Overall, our work in this space shows that animals can play a role in pandemics that impact humans, and it’s important that we continue to increase our understanding so we can protect both human and animal health,” added Dr. Wan, who also serves as a professor and the director for the University of Missouri’s Center for Influenza and Emerging Infectious Diseases.
That’s just nasty. Rats are bad enough and carry enough diseases to fill multiple laboratories. Just don’t put it in the ones in Wuhan: the viruses would leak. Plague and rats usually go together, so perhaps this isn’t shocking, but it’s no less disgusting. And the city has already seen its fair share of health fiascos regarding these rodents.