A Disturbing Discovery At A Medical Clinic Proves That Philadelphia’s Rat Population Is Out Of Control
For residents of Philadelphia, rat pests are a constant concern. Two years ago, Philadelphia beat New York City as the most rat-infested metropolitan area in the country. This ranking was based on data from the US Housing Survey, which is carried out every two years by the federal government. The survey specifically found that 18 percent of Philly residents reported having issues with rats, and the survey results were not surprising, as rats frequently invade entire neighborhoods in Philly. For example, numerous homes on Howland St. in the northeastern section of the city were invaded by rats last July. On another occasion, rats established an extensive infestation in a newly built West Philly apartment complex before the first tenants moved in. It is also not uncommon for rats to invade Philly restaurants, as one of the most popular eateries in the city was forced to close after pictures of rats eating stored food in the restaurant went viral in 2013. Despite Philadelphia’s massive population of Norway rats, a rat problem at the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office in University City last February was beyond what anybody expected.
While preparing to perform an autopsy at the medical examiner’s office, a technician noticed movement in the cadaver’s torso. Everyone in the room quickly realized that a Norway rat was alive and active in the body. After the investigator failed to remove the rat with a metal pole-like instrument, they sealed the body and called the City Department of Public Health’s Vector Control Unit to deal with the rat pest. Upon arrival, vector control workers found that the rat had consumed much of the cadaver’s organs, which made the rat specimen a potential vector of numerous diseases. Because of this, the vector control workers could not allow the rat to escape into populated areas, so they first tried to electrocute the pest with a portable X-ray wand. After this method failed, one of the workers grabbed the rat by hand and stomped it dead with his boot. Multiple medical examiners across the country, including professionals in New York City and other rat-heavy cities, claimed to have never encountered or even heard of rats infesting dead bodies. Nobody knows how the rat wound up in the body, but experts guess that the rat originated from the Philadelphia morgue where it managed to access the cadaver’s body bag before it had been zipped up and transported to the medical examiner’s office.
Have you ever found one or several rats congregating around dead animals in a residential area?
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