As the flood waters caused by Hurricane Sandy put New York City under siege, rats may be scurrying to the streets in order to escape the flooding.
According to Rick Ostfeld of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Milbrook, New York, rising water will force rats out of their underground lairs and into contact with humans.
Ostifeld told the Huffington Post, that they would escape the floods and head for safer ground, such as apartments and other buildings inhabited by humans, saying-
“Rats are incredibly good swimmers and they can climb. Rats are highly social individuals and live in a fairly stable social structure. If this storm disturbs that, rats could start infesting areas they never did before.”
According to Ostfeld, this could result in a rise in infectious diseases carried by urban rats, including leptospirosis, hantavirus, typhus, salmonella, and even the plague.
That is so gross! Hopefully Ostfeld’s wrong in his assessment but, then again, he is an expert.