Rats are serious depression hazards and an underappreciated stressor.

(Mirror Daily, United States) – Rats are serious depression hazards, at least, that’s what researchers at John Hopkins believe. The ever-present rodents seem to affect the mental health of poor neighborhoods inhabitants more than the authorities first thought.

Rats are present in Baltimore almost all over town. And most people agree that they are disgusting and annoying and treat them like vermin that should be eradicated. But there are some people who actually get sad and anxious when they encounter the furry rodents.

Upon studying the response of several Baltimore inhabitants to the presence of rats, researchers from the Public Health Bloomberg School at John Hopkins concluded that rats are serious depression hazards.

According to the lead author of the study, Danielle German, a Department of Behavior, Society and Health assistant professor, inhabitants of poor neighborhoods are more likely to experience depression-like symptoms, anxiety and sadness when coming into contact with the rodents rather than disgust or annoyance.

The study reveals that rats are serious depression hazards and an underappreciated stressor for a particular part of the Baltimore community. Especially the neighborhoods that are considered to be populated by individuals with little to inexistent income sources.

When interviewing people from low-income communities, German and her team discovered that trash and rats were listed as the primary triggers of anxiety and health concerns. And the trash and rats were invoked as main stress factors by people who lived in neighborhoods affected by drug-dealing at street level, deteriorating and vacant housing and crime.

In order to get her results, German and her team interviewed 448 residents of said neighborhoods between 2010 and 2011. More than half of them claimed to see rats on a weekly basis; a third reported encountering them daily, and roughly thirteen percent declared living with them in the house.

According to the data provided by the researchers, more than 72 percent of the people who saw the rodents presence as being a concerning problem were more likely to battle depression or depression-like symptoms than those who lived in cleaner, rat-free neighborhoods.

But a couple of years have passed since German, and her team conducted the study, and in the meantime, the local authorities have begun implementing more efficient control measures. And since the inhabitants cited trash and rats, the most obvious choice consisted in the distribution of sturdier trash cans.

Sadie Gooch, a 70 years old resident of an affected neighborhood, is pleased with the garbage cans that she and her neighbors received. The lids are compact, and they don’t allow rats to get in there to search for shelter or food.

Not only are they a paramount of disease spreading and filth, but rats are serious depression hazards, too. That is why Baltimore authorities are working on new, better ways of exterminating the rodent population.

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