Africa's expanding farms attract more plague-infested rats

February 23, 2015 10:09 PM

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ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Converting wilderness areas into farmland in East Africa may be increasing the risk of disease epidemics, as rodents crawling with plague-carrying fleas are drawn to the harvested food.

In northern Tanzania, crop lands have expanded by 70 percent over the last few decades and the number of plague-carrying rodents in these corn growing lands has nearly doubled compared with neighboring wilderness areas, said the study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygien...

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