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New York City Rats Can Carry Covid Variants, New Study Finds 1
New York City has about 8 million ratsA new study has found that New York City rats can become infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, The Guardian reported. New York City has about 8 million rats, and they have ample opportunities to interact with people, the researchers said. The findings which were published on March 9 in mBio, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, noted that New York rats are susceptible to three Covid variants. Rats collected in the study tested positive for alpha, delta and omicron variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. For the study, the group trapped rats in and around locations surrounding wastewater systems, mostly in Brooklyn. Biologists found that 13 of 79 rats (16.5%), tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. ”To the best of our knowledge, this is one of the first studies to show SARS-CoV-2 variants can cause infections in the wild rat populations in a major US urban area,” said Dr Henry Wan, the principal investigator of the study. However, it’s not entirely clear how the rats contracted SARS-CoV-2 or whether they pose a particular danger to human health. “Our findings highlight the need for further monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 in rat populations to determine if the virus is circulating in the animals and evolving into new strains that could pose a risk to humans,” said Dr Wan.”Overall, our work in this space shows that animals can play a role in pandemics that impact humans, and it’s important that we continue to increase our understanding so we can protect both human and animal health,” he added. Meanwhile, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that animal-to-human transmission of Covid is rare.”There is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to people. There have been a few reports of infected mammalian animals spreading the virus to people during close contact, but this is rare,”  the CDC notes on its website.Earlier, studies on rats in Hong Kong and Belgium found that they were exposed to the virus behind Covid, however, the studies were inconclusive with respect to the variant. Animals like cats, dogs, primates, hippos, deer and anteaters are among those in which COVID-19 infections have been reported earlier. Featured Video Of The DayTransgender Tea Stall Set Up At Assam Railway Station, Is First In Country

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