Popular Science

How about this disease-infested rat weather we're having?

It's a beautiful day for bacteria.

A norway rat

A Norway rat.

The rats and mice that populate our sewers, barns, dumps, and alleys carry all kinds of microbes that can sicken people. Our rodent neighbors have been implicated in outbreaks of infections ranging from plague to hantavirus.

It turns out that the environment a rat scurries through can make it more likely to pick up certain pathogens, recently in the journal . Norway rats were more likely to after cooler weather, near cracked pavement, and MRSA if it hadn’t rained much recently.

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