New York Rats Test Positive For COVID, Concerns of Viral Human Spread
Some New York rats apparently carry COVID-19 mutations. Officials are worried rats could transmit COVID to humans.
A new study found that rats from New York tested positive for COVID-19 mutations.
New York Rats Test Positive For COVID
Scientists at the USDA and the University of Missouri conducted a new study on rats from New York City and discovered COVID mutations.
Researchers found the disease-riddled animals tested positive for COVID strains like Omicron, Alpha and Delta.
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Rats From New York City, Brooklyn, New York Test Positive For COVID
Researchers say 16.5 percent of the 79 rats they tested from New York City tested positive for COVID.
The rats were captured in Brooklyn, New York in the fall of 2021 and then tested.
"Using a virus challenge study, we also showed that Alpha, Delta, and Omicron variants can cause robust infections in rats, including high-level replications in the upper and lower respiratory tracts and induction of both innate and adaptive immune responses," the study states.
Can Rats Give Humans COVID?
Rat sightings in New York City are up 70 percent from 2022 to 2021, according to Fox New York.
As of now, there is no evidence that rats can transmit COVID to people, but researchers are worried it's possible rats can transmit COVID to humans because the virus has gone from humans to animals before.
“Over the last two and a half years we found [the virus] moved from humans to new animal populations," co-author of the study, the national coordinator of the USDA-APHIS Center, Dr. Julianna Lenoch told The New York Post.
"We were concerned that there was a possibility that we were going to find a spillover event knowing that [COVID-19] had been detected in some other animal species."