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Rat infestations blamed on lack of hygiene

City of JHB says communities need to take better care of their environments to eradicate rodent problems.

A polluted street in Alexandra's 1st Avenue. The township is infested with rats, and they are wreaking havoc in the township. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The City of Johannesburg says it needs cooperation from members of the public to help it address rodent infestation problems causing health concerns in many communities.

Last week a one-month-old baby had three of her fingers and part of her nose eaten by rats in the Alexandra township.

City of Johannesburg officials say proper public hygiene practices are necessary to prevent any more cases.

Officials are urging those who suspect they may have been bitten by rats to report to local clinics, as rodent bites can lead to serious infection.

They city's Peter Manganye says the case of the one-month-old is not the first to be reported to authorities.

"We have information through our clinics of rodent bite cases."

The little girl is still under observation, as doctors are yet to determine whether she will undergo reconstructive surgery.

City officials say communities need to take better care of their environments to make sure that rodent populations are eradicated.