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Rats! Hong Kong finally beats Singapore at something

24 0 37
29.09.2018

Back in Hong Kong after spending a few days in Singapore, I have to say I can’t help noting how our beloved city feels dirtier, shoddier and – some people may hate me for using the word – inferior in comparison.

Don’t get me wrong, because I have a massive chip on my shoulder about Hong Kong and usually bristle when anyone badmouths or disrespects the place I call home. But reality can be harsh, and with Singapore offering a truly eye-opening contrast during my recent stay there, I must admit I’ve been in total denial about how bad it has become here in terms of the living environment.

And I now find myself right in the middle of the ultimate wake-up call for all the Rip Van Winkles still in sleep-addled denial: the dubious distinction our city has just earned by reporting the world’s first case of human infection by a strain of hepatitis E that had previously been confined to rats.

The patient is a 56-year-old public housing resident recovering from liver transplant surgery. Researchers at the University of Hong Kong trying to figure out how the virus jumped from rodent to human have suggested he may have eaten food contaminated by rat droppings.

Rats ‘as big as kittens’ walk up staircases........

© South China Morning Post