Bangladesh has its fair share of problems nowadays, including the aftermath of a bloody mutiny and a shaky transition back to democracy. Since the world can only process so much Bangladeshi news at once, some equally troubling stories have yet to receive the attention they deserve. Exhibit number one: A massive rat infestation in the nation’s southeast.
It’s bad enough that the rats are chewing their way through the region’s crops, threatening the food supply for over 120,000 local residents (many of them members of various hill tribes). The larger concern now is that the invasion will touch off an epidemic of bubonic plague, which could cause the entire nation to be put under quarantine. As this Agence France Presse article makes clear, such a quarantine would be unprecedented in modern times; the Surat plague of 1994 is the closest we’ve ever come to taking such a radical step.