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Rat attack puts Alex baby in hospital

Rats are believed to have bitten off three of the baby's fingers and parts of her nose.

FILE: The City of Johannesburg has sent a team to Alexandra to investigate a rat infestation. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A one-month-old baby, allegedly bitten by rats, is awaiting surgery at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

Rats are believed to have bitten off three of the baby's fingers and parts of her nose.

The City of Johannesburg has sent a team to Alexandra to investigate.

Nurses from a local clinic say children are often attacked by large rats roaming the area.

A woman who works as a matron at the local Alexandra clinic says the rat infestation in the township is a major problem, and that they receive cases of babies bitten by rats every week.

"We see one or two cases per week where especially small children are bitten by rats."

Member of the mayoral committee for health Nonceba Molwele says they're still trying to confirm exactly what happened.

She has instructed officials from her department to compile a report.

Over the past few years, there are have been a number of initiatives to deal with rats including using owls, as well as providing incentives for community members to catch the rodents.