It's not even Wednesday and the surprises keep coming: New York City rats, when tested by pathogen hunters at Columbia University, were discovered to be replete with dozens of disgusting pathogens, some of which were new to science entirely.
Researchers tested 133 Manhattan rats, all of which were incredibly difficult to bait as they are "wilier" than rats of other locales, and the results are just as you'd expect: Germs. Fucking germs everywhere.
I saw a rat eat a pile of black slop-trash once.
Once the scientists caught the rats, they took samples of blood, urine, feces and tissues from a number of organs. After extracting DNA from the samples, they sifted through the gene fragments.
First, the scientists looked for disease agents previously found in rats. They discovered bacteria that caused food poisoning, such as Salmonella and a strain of E. coli known to cause terrible diarrhea. They also found pathogens that caused fevers, such as Seoul hantavirus and Leptospira.
One of the germs that the researchers didn't find, however, was Yersinia pestis, the cause for Bubonic plague. We're all good on that front. Stand down.
The president of EcoHealth Alliance, Peter Daszak said of the new study, "This is a recipe for a public health nightmare." The rats that were studied had 18 different species of viruses that were connected to human diseases, and some of the pathogens found in the rats had never been seen before in New York.
[Image via AP]