City workers say they’re getting sick from conditions on Methadone Mile

BOSTON — Some Boston city workers say they’re getting sick from “deplorable conditions” on Methadone Mile.

The City of Boston Workers Union (SEIU Local 888) told Boston 25 News that ten workers have come down with a nasty stomach bug in recent weeks.

According to the union, five of those workers ended up in the hospital.

“We are thinking it’s related to the rodents which are excessive and run freely at the hundreds of encampments at Mass and Cass,” said a statement sent to Boston 25 News from SEIU Local 888.

The union described some of the rodents in the area as the size of small dogs or raccoons.

“Rats generally run away and avoid humans. However, lately rats that appear to have skin disease, scurvy and are losing hair are approaching humans,” the statement went on to explain. “These rats have recently been walking over sleeping bodies in encampment tents and acting rabid while running up pant legs of these sleeping individuals.”

Sue Sullivan, with the Newmarket Business Association, said the worsening unsanitary situation in the Mass and Cass corridor needs to be addressed.

“There are rats running around here constantly. There’s feces. There’s urine,” said Sullivan. “”I wouldn’t have my worst enemy sleeping in these tents down here.”

The Boston Public Health Commission issued the following comment to Boston 25 News:

The Boston Public Health Commission’s Infectious Disease Bureau has been made aware of a single case of human leptospirosis, a bacterial disease that is primarily spread by the urine of infected animals. Consistent with existing public health practices, BPHC has issued a Clinical Advisory to Boston healthcare providers to assist in recognizing clinical symptoms and to report suspected and confirmed cases to the Boston Public Health Commission for investigation and any necessary medical or public health intervention to control the spread of disease.

Residents who are concerned about any symptoms of Leptospirosis or any other disease are advised to contact their medical provider.

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