Plague Fleas Found on New York's Rats

March 4, 2015 6:49 AM

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In the first study of its kind in nearly a full century, researchers have found that rats in New York City are still hosting fleas that can carry dangerous plague pathogens. But don't panic just yet. The infamous Black Death, which still exists in the United States, was not found in these fleas, meaning that professionals simply need to be vigilant.

"If these rats carry fleas that could transmit the plague to people, then the pathogen itself is the only piece missing from the transmission cycle," Matthew Frye, an urban entomologist with Cornell University's New York State Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program, explained in a recent statement...

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