MADRID has detected around 20 cases of black rats in the city, but the council insists that it is not a plague.
Workers of the Madrid Regional Health Department in the City Council have said that they are monitoring the outbreaks constantly and that the situation is under control.
They also say that the rats are not a risk to people or pets.
The National Association of Environmental Health Companies (Anecpla) has called for calm, saying that the existence of the rats was already reported two years ago. They said that a video broadcast recently by a local TV channel in which rats could be seen in trees in the area of Mendez Alvaro had alarmed people.
The black rat, native to Asia, weighs around 250 grams and is “extremely agile”.
According to Anecpla, in urban areas where food is easily available, these rats can breed constantly and have up to five litters per year.
According to the association, they are usually found in parks and gardens but not in the external sewage systems or internal sanitation.
They usually make their nests in trees, rooftops, or attics.
They can transmit Weil’s disease, leptospirosis, salmonellosis or Hantavirus, among many others, which is why Ancepla insists on the importance of preventing a plague and have appealed to people not to leave waste on the roads outside of containers.
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