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Rats Pose Plague Risk in Croplands

Efforts to boost food production in East Africa may increase the risk of plague. A new study says the conversion of natural lands into croplands in Tanzania has been accompanied by a large increase in the rodent population. The rodents are often infested with plague-carrying fleas. Dr. Kristofer Helgen said plague is an ancient disease caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis. “It captures the imagination when people hear about plague or the bubonic plague. I think we are...

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