New York City Rats May Be Even Dirtier Than You Thought

Scientists have found rats in New York City carry 18 previously undiscovered viruses that could make you sick.

Not Available Lead
Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

Not Available Lead

How is it possible for New York City rats to be even more disgusting than you once thought? How about this: a team of scientists from Columbia University have discovered that NYC rats carry 18—yes, 18—brand new viral species that could cause you to get sick. Two of them are remarkably similar to the virus that causes hepatitis C.

The researchers discovered these viruses along with the usual suspects of Salmonella and E. coli, although at least they didn’t test positive for common illnesses found in other countries around the globe or things like the bubonic plague. One biologist says he “[doesn’t] see it as a call to wage war on rats just yet,” given that more research must be done to determine what effect the presence of these viruses is having on humans.

Waging war on rats sounds like a good idea, until you remember that the pesky rodents can survive basically anything. We probably wouldn’t win, unless of course we used Charlie Kelly’s bashing bat.

[via NYT]

Latest in Pop Culture