Black rat returns to southern Netherlands

The black rat (rattus rattus), responsible for spreading the kidney-damaging hanta virus among other illnesses, is making a come-back in the south of the country, Jim van Steenbergen of the RIVM health institute told Radio 1 on Monday.

In 2006, eight hanta virus infections were reported in the Netherlands but last year this was 25, all in Noord Brabant and Limburg, Van Steenbergen said.
The black rat was responsible for spreading the bubonic plague in the Middle Ages and is usually found in warm countries.

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