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Wanted, a Pied Piper

Canberra, Feb. 10 (Reuters): With nearly four million rats born every day — 10 for every human — experts warned today that the much-loathed rodents could spread more diseases through towns and cities in developing nations.

Researchers from 39 countries at a conference in Australia said rats were already known to carry nearly 70 diseases, but there were fears they could harbour scores more.

“Rats are a reservoir of disease, the sleeping giants of disease in the world,” Dr Lyn Hinds, of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, said.

“It is more likely than ever that we will have greater levels of debilitating diseases caused by rats... with the increased density of human populations,” she said at the start of the second International Rodent Biology and Management Conference.

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