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Rats

Volume 455: debated on Friday 26 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of how many injuries and illnesses were caused by rats in each of the last five years. (117453)

Injuries data are collected by the Department on the number of hospital admissions for injuries caused by rat bites. These data do not include individuals who did not attend hospital or patients who attended accident and emergency departments but were not admitted. Information is not available on whether the person was bitten in the United Kingdom (UK) or abroad, or bitten by a wild or captive rat.

The figures for the last five years for England are shown in the table.

Admissions

2000-02

19

2002-03

21

2003-04

21

2004-05

23

2005-06

18

Leptospirosis is the main disease in humans caused by rats in the UK. Figures for laboratory confirmed cases of leptospirosis in the UK are shown in the table.

Scotland

England and Wales

Northern Ireland

2002

3

54

1

2003

0

28

0

2004

2

29

1

2005

4

41

1

2006

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a = Not available.

Source:

Zoonoses Report 2005

Information on leptospirosis prevention and treatment is available on the Health Protection Agency website at:

www.hpa.org.uk/infections/topics_az/zoonoses/leptospirosis/menu.htm

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research the Department has commissioned into the potential health hazards caused by rats. (117454)

The Department has not commissioned any research into the potential health hazards caused by rats as these are already well known.