rat

Disease carrying rats may be washed out of New York City’s subways and sewers due to Hurricane Sandy.

*(Via The Huffington Post) – The 8-million-strong human population of New York City is matched, if not exceeded, by the city’s number of rodent dwellers. Fortunately, the two populations don’t mingle all that often.

But that could change as storm waters from Hurricane Sandy flood rats out of their underground residences, according to Rick Ostfeld of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Milbrook, N.Y.

“Rats are incredibly good swimmers,” said Ostfeld. “And they can climb.”

In other words, Sandy is unlikely to knock off the resilient rodents, but rather displace them.

According to Ostfeld, this could result in increased risk of infectious diseases carried by urban rats, including leptospirosis, hantavirus, typhus, salmonella, and even the plague.

Read/learn more at The Huffington Post.