Metro. It's about rat bites -- rat bites in a city known for its rodent population: New York. Before I get into this, it's important to note that rat bites are rare. Odds are you'll go your whole life without getting bitten by one. That being said, it does happen. Here's how 2010 looked.
Rats bit over 100 people in the Big Apple last year. Those beady-eyed little monsters you see gnawing on discarded french fries in the subway are capable of, and have been known to, bite humans. So watch out!
There were 86 reported rat bites last year -- that's "reported rat bites." There were obviously more that went unreported. In 2011, there have been 29 people who've been attacked by rodentia in the city that never sleeps. But we haven't hit peak rat bite season yet. A period of time, I've been unable to pinpoint... as of yet!
The Health Department looks to bite accounts on their website for yearly numbers. Emergency rooms are also taken into consideration. Here's a seriously creepy quote from a Bronx-based exterminator who specializes in rat control , and was called in after a mother reported finding bites on her infant.
“They were getting into a crib and they bit on a baby’s toes. [They] sometimes climb right into a baby’s crib and suck milk out of bottles."
There have also been reports of rats attacking pets. One particularly strange story involved a Long Island rat climbing into a parrot's cage, and subsequently devouring him. But remember, these stories are the outliers. Rats typically keep to themselves. If they were to actually bite you, it would probably be by accident. However, if one should sink it's filthy little teeth into your flesh, call the Health Department; you don't want rat bite fever ; it can be fatal, unfortunately.