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Consider disease in homeless planning


Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

While the idea of a tent city for the homeless (Oct. 13 article on “homeless camp”) is very appealing, there is a serious health liability to consider.

Any longterm or permanent location for people, especially those living close to nature, will become a substantial attraction for all manner of “carriers” such as insects (flies, mosquitoes, other vermin) and wildlife (packrats, skunks, foxes and many kinds of rodents).

The issue involves zoonotic diseases — those diseases (some potentially fatal) that can be spread from other species to humans, such as hantavirus, rabies, plague, West Nile Virus, Psittacosis and others, a few of which appear to be on the increase in New Mexico. This is a serious “heads up” that must be taken into account in the early planning stages.

Ray Pawley

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