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admin 02.03.2014

There are more subway rats in the Bronx - or maybe they're just bolder up there, according to a survey released Wednesday. The Straphangers Campaign last summer surveyed every platform in the system to assess quality-of-life conditions like lighting, graffiti, exposed wiring - and the prevalence of rodents.
The scavenging critters were spotted at 21% of the underground platforms in the Bronx, compared to 15% in Brooklyn, 13% in Queens and 10% in Manhattan. Bronx riders said rats sightings are common on the tracks where litterbugs throw their trash. Isaac Coaxum, 40, a moving company worker, said he sees rodents every day scurrying along the tracks in between trains. Systemwide, the surveyors encountered rats in 13% of the 525 underground platforms, which is a slight three-percent drop from last year. MTA officials testifying at a recent state Senate oversight hearing on authority finances and operations said they have made strides in reducing the rat population with a multi-pronged attack.
The authority targeted the 25 most infested stations and sealed off the refuse rooms with new doors and other measures.
Garbage is stored in the refuse rooms until collected and hauled away by a work train or sanitation truck. The MTA also increased the use of rat poison and piloted a baiting program with drugs aimed at curbing the ability of female rats to reproduce. Officials hope the federally funded birth-control program is expanded, Bianco said at the hearing. The MTA released a statement Wednesday saying: a€?Safety is our top priority when it comes to the condition of our stations and platforms and all safety-related defects are repaired in short order. Straphangers Campaign volunteers surveyed all 826 platforms that were open and not under construction. The findings include: 24% of platforms had exposed wiring, 26% had substantial areas with missing tiles and 32% had substantial graffiti.
At underground stations, broken lights at 20% of platforms, substantial peeling paint at 74% and substantial water damage at 82%.

Most Popular Most Read Most Shared 1 NYPD officer shoots and wounds knife-wielding man in Brooklyn 2 Off-duty NYPD cop charged with DWI in Manhattan 3 Man in critical condition after assault by group of men in Queens 4 Man fatally struck by two hit-and-run drivers in Queens 5 Two men killed, at least five shot in overnight NYC violence 6 Afrika Bambaataa molested 'hundreds' of boys, bodyguard says 7 NYPD subway gas-attack test Monday 8 Manhattan Serbian Orthodox church holds first service since fire 9 Man who has racked up 92 arrests cuffed again for swiping card 10 Bronx priest hit with stray bullet from Queens drive-by shooting Daily News Pix Manhattan From 1939 Times Square to the Towers in the 90's, the Daily News has the legendary photos of NYC. A team of scientists at Columbia University trapped 133 Norway rats a€” Rattus norvegicus a€”A from five sites in midtown and lower Manhattan, and used DNA sequencing to catalogue the pathogens they carry. They found an alarming number of disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and single-celled organisms called protozoa. Even more disconcertingly, they discovered nearly 30 viral species, including almost 20 mammalian viruses, and 18 viruses that were previously unknown to science. Below is a chart showing some of the known microbial pathogens the researchers found in New York City's rats using targeted polymerase chain reactionA screening. Among the plethora of viral species they found in the creepy critters, a few stood out, including a new species related to the hepatitis C virus, and Seoul hantavirus, which causes hemorrhagic fever a€” a dangerous disease that causes excessive bleeding a€” which had never been found in New York before.
While the hepatitis virus probably isn't good for the rats, its discovery is useful to science, as it could be used as an animal model to test new treatments.
No one knows how many rats there are in NYC's subways, but Rick Ostfeld of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y.
Of the 113 rats the researchers analyzed, about 90% were found to carry some type of microbial agent. Falling asleep on a subway is never the wisest move - there's always a risk of being approached by a strange creature of the night.But one unsuspecting passenger in New York had the most skin-crawling of experiences on a late-night train. It then instinctively scurries up the sleeping passenger's leg, along his torso and on towards his face, causing the man to wake up.
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Rats found at 13% of subway platforms citywide a€” with the Bronx leading the way with more than 20% of stations having rodentsA  The survey, released Wednesday by the Straphangers Campaign, shows that there is actually a three percent drop from 2012's report.
In 2012, over 39,000 defects were repaired and we are projected to complete more than 53,000 in 2013, a 36% increase.
The issue is really whether they pose a health hazard within this human-generated environment.

Everyone who's ever used a New York City subway knows that they're teeming with rats, and that said rats are, almost by definition, disgusting. At least one of the protozoan and eight of the bacterial species have been linked to gastrointestinal disease in humans.
They also found a new virus related to enterovirus, which recently infected hundreds of children across the US. About 40% of the rats carried more than 2 viruses, and nearly 10% of the rats carried a whopping 5 viruses.
The survey also documented other quality of life problems underground, such as 24% had exposed wiring and 32% had substantial graffiti. A union of subway workers in New York City found an ingenious way of drawing attention to the rat problem that its members have to deal with every day. Clearly half of the problem is people being complete morons and "freeing" their pet rats when they don't want to deal with them anymore. If they were an endangered species, many people would see their presence differently and find ways to accomodate them. It is therefore possible that human infection with some of the agents identified here may already be occurring, and the risk of future zoonotic transmission should not be disregarded.
Now they're whining and complaining about rats that aren't afraid of humans and are "aggressive". Future work should build on the results of this study amd begin to assess the impact of the agents identified here on human health in NYC through continued pathogen surveillance and disease monitoring programs.
Look to the people and see what problems you can solve there then try and clean up your subways. Hermann for the New York Daily News A survey released Wednesday showed that 13% of underground subway platforms having rats.

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