Rare Leptospirosis Cases in NYC: 5 Things to Know

Rare Leptospirosis Cases in NYC: 5 Things to Know”

"Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that is most commonly spread by contact with rat urine and is very rarely spread from person to person", according to a department of health statement.

Leptospirosis - which the health department also described as a "bacterial disease spread by animal urine, in this case by rats (not mice)" - is pretty rare in NY, according to the agency. In severe cases, liver and kidney function are affected.

City officials say the cases, occurring in the past two months, are the first such concentrated cluster. Two cases developed pulmonary hemorrhage, one didn't survive the infection.

Health officials are holding a meeting for tenants of the building on Wednesday at 6:30 the lobby.

"The Health Department has identified a cluster of three cases of leptospirosis on one block in the Concourse area of the Bronx".

One of the people who contracted leptospirosis died and the other two have recovered, the department of health spokeswoman told Patch.

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Normally the entire city sees just one to three cases in a year, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

"This illness can be serious but is treatable with readily available antibiotics", city Health Department officials said in a statement released Tuesday. The median age of affected persons was 42, and all but one of them were male.

Despite those precautions, residents said staying away from areas where rats live is out of their control, considering the huge populations of rats in the city.

The bacteria enters the body through open cuts and wounds, or through the nose, eyes or mouth.

Other symptoms of the disease include fever, chills, muscle aches and nausea. The bacterial disease is spread through the urine of infected animals.

If you can not avoid areas where rats have been seen, use a bleach solution to kill the bacteria in the aea, and protect yourself from contact with rat urine by using rubber gloves, boots, masks and some type of eyewear.

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