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NYC- 3 cases of Leptospirosis in the Bronx-1 died

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  • NYC- 3 cases of Leptospirosis in the Bronx-1 died


    1 Dead In Bronx Outbreak Of Rare Rat-Related Infection
    The city normally only sees one to three cases of the disease, caused by rat urine, every year.
    By Brendan Krisel (Patch National Staff) - February 15, 2017 12:08 pm ET

    BRONX, NY ? Three cases, one fatal, of a rare bacterial infection caused by contact with rat urine were reported on a single block in the Bronx, a city Department of Health spokeswoman confirmed with Patch.

    The Health Department will investigate what it calls a "cluster" of leptospirosis cases that broke out on one block in the Bronx's Grand Concourse neighborhood. Two of the cases were recorded in December and one in February, according to a department spokeswoman...

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    Leptospirosis Cluster Fact Sheet

    February 15, 2017

    Leptospirosis Background:
    • Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease spread by animal urine, in this case by rats. It is extremely rare in New York City and it is rarely spread person to person. The disease is treatable with antibiotics.
    • Leptospirosis bacteria enter the body through the eyes, nose or mouth, or through wounds and cuts in the skin. Some people who are infected may have no symptoms, while others may have a mild illness with fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, vomiting or diarrhea. Rarely, infected persons may develop a life-threatening illness that affects their kidneys and liver.
    Precautions to Take:
    • Avoid contact with rats or with places where rats may have urinated.
    • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after any contact with areas where rats may live.
    • If you cannot avoid areas where rats have been seen, or are cleaning areas where rats have been, use a solution of one part household bleach and 10 parts water to kill the leptospirosis bacteria.
    • Protect yourself from contact with their urine: wear rubber gloves (especially if you have any cuts or sores on your hands or arms), boots, masks and some type of eyewear.
    • Always wear shoes whenever taking trash to your trash compactor room.
    • If members of the public believe they have been in contact with rats and are experiencing any of the aforementioned conditions, they should immediately contact their health care providers.
    Leptospirosis Cluster in Concourse neighborhood of the Bronx:
    • There have been three reported cases of Leptospirosis in the Concourse area of the Bronx, all three of which were diagnosed in the last two months and confined to one block.
    • Two patients have recovered and one has died.
    • There are typically one to three cases of Leptospirosis per year in New York City. Prior to this cluster, there have been 26 cases since 2006, one of which resulted in a death.
    • The cluster in the Concourse area is the first cluster (defined as cases occurring in same area and in a short period of time) of Leptospirosis cases ever identified in New York City.
    • The block is home to four schools – two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. All four schools have passed exterior pest control inspections and the Department of Education (DOE) has found no rodent signs in the school.
    • In December 2016, DOHMH issued multiple violations for ‘harborage’ conditions at 750 Grand Concourse (on both the exterior and interior of the building) and ordered the building’s landlord to immediately remediate the basement and affected apartments.
    • On Monday, February 13, DOHMH confirmed the 3rd case of Leptospirosis at 750 Grand Concourse and immediately started baiting the basement of the building. The two other cases occurred in persons who were not residents, but spent significant time on this block, but not in this building, and had exposure to rodent infested environments.
    • Per HPD, there are 79 open violations at the building and one information order.
    • Per DOB, there are 25 open construction code violations dating back to 2004.
    What is the City doing for 750 Grand Concourse Ave.:
    • On Tuesday, February 14, DOHMH issued a Health Alert to health care providers and informed tenants of the cluster at 750 Grand Concourse by distributing informational, bi-lingual English/Spanish letters. Protective rubber gloves were also provided to the residents.
    • On Tuesday, February 14, DOHMH briefed the Department of Buildings (DOB), Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and elected officials. DOB and HPD responded to the apartment building and DOB vacated 8 illegal Single Room Occupancy (SRO) units in the basement and the tenants were offered relocation assistance from the Red Cross. The vacate orders were issued for illegal subdivisions and lack of secondary egress (unrelated to rat infestation).
    • DOHMH, in partnership with its sister agencies HPD and DOB, is working with the owner of 750 Grand Concourse and building owners in the affected area to remediate rodent infestations, including removing debris, cleaning, sealing cracks and holes, exterminating and setting traps.
    Immediate Future Actions:
    • On Wednesday, February 15, DOHMH will hold a tenant meeting to update residents and answer questions. DOHMH will also distribute masks to tenants of the building which are advised to be worn when entering the building’s basement.
    • Joint inspections of the building and surrounding buildings will be conducted as determined by DOHMH.
    • In addition, Members of the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit (PEU) are canvassing local residents effective today, Wednesday, February 15, 2017.


    Leptospirosis in the Bronx

    Leptospirosis has been identified in three people on a one block section of the Grand Concourse area in the Bronx.

    Leptospirosis is usually passed from infected animals to humans. It's not usually spread by people. In New York City, infected rats are the main source of leptospirosis.

    Report all suspected cases of human leptospirosis to the Health Department Provider Access Line (PAL) at 1-866-692-3641.

    Please distribute the Health Alert(s) below to all clinical staff in Internal Medicine, Primary Care, Infectious Diseases, Hepatology, Nephrology, Emergency Medicine, Intensive Care Family Medicine, Laboratory Medicine and Infection Control.
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
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