A new disease that is passed from rats to humans via fleas, much like the Black Death, has been discovered by scientists.





The bacteria can cause serious heart disease in humans are being spread by rat fleas, sparking concern that the infections could become a bigger problem in humans.

Research published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology suggests that brown rats, the biggest and most common rats in Europe, may now be carrying the bacteria.

Since the early 1990s, more than 20 species of Bartonella bacteria have been discovered. They are considered to be emerging pathogens, because they can cause serious illness in humans worldwide from heart disease to infection of the spleen and nervous system.

"A new species called Bartonella rochalimae was recently discovered in a patient with an enlarged spleen who had travelled to South America," said Professor Chao-Chin Chang from the National Chung Hsing University in Taiwan.

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Randll Reese Besch - 12/3/2008

They periodically happen and we are over due for one or more. There are several possibles to give us grief and then a surprise like bartonella pops up.

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