According to New York City Mayor Eric Adams, rat urine is causing an increase in illnesses with flu-like symptoms in the city. Adams, who declared himself "Rat Chief" at a press conference in Albany on Thursday, said the fight against rodents continues.

Forest fire: Smoke could reach the US again! Forest fire: Smoke could reach the US again!

Leptospirosis is a potentially fatal bacterial infection that can be transmitted by touching the urine of infected animals or urine-contaminated water, soil and food. Among animals, the disease affects dogs, cattle, pigs and horses.

In humans, symptoms include fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, conjunctival effusion, jaundice and rash. If left untreated, the disease can cause kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, respiratory distress and even death, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There have been cases in previous years, but never in this number. According to the New York City Health Department, 24 cases were reported in 2023 alone, and so far this year there have been 6 cases of leptospirosis. Officials say that from 2001 to 2020, there were a maximum of three cases per year.