Parents warned of health risk at rat-infested school
Richard Evans, local democracy reporter
Parents of pupils attending a rat-infested Colwyn Bay secondary school have been warned of the risk to their children.
Parents of children at Eirias High School have received a letter following reports of pupils spotting rats in the building.
Conwy County Council has, though, opted to keep the school on Eirias Road open, choosing instead to close the affected classrooms.
Instead, the council claim a pest control company is dealing with the problem and says affected classrooms are being cleaned.
But Conwy said it is continuing to monitor the situation.
A spokeswoman for Conwy County Council commented: “The local authority has been informed of the matter.
“Ysgol Eirias is working with a pest control company following sightings of rats over the last few days.
“Any classrooms affected will not be occupied until the pest controllers advise it is safe to do so and will be cleaned before being used by students.”
She added: “The school is contacting parents directly, and the school will continue to monitor the situation.”
Rats are known to carry numerous harmful diseases, including the hantavirus, leptospirosis, rat bite fever, rat tapeworm, and salmonellosis.
Weil’s disease is a form of leptospirosis contracted from the urine of infected rats.
The bacteria can enter the human body through cuts and scratches or through the mouth, eyes, and throat after contact with infected rat urine.
Whilst Weil’s disease is rare in the UK, without treatment, the disease can lead to kidney damage, liver failure, meningitis, respiratory failure, and occasionally death.
The local democracy service received a tip-off from a worried parent claiming the rats had been seen living in ‘papier-mâché volcanos’ and abandoned toilets at the school.
Two species of rat are found in the UK, the most common being Rattus Norvegicus, otherwise known as the brown rat or common rat.
The other species is Rattus Rattus, often referred to as the black rat or the ship rat, which is much rarer in Britain.
Eirias High School was contacted for a comment.
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