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Health Care / HEALTH

Bedbugs Making Powerful Enemies

Not even the United Nations is safe.

October 28, 2010

The creepy-crawly bedbugs that have infiltrated New York City's hotels, furniture retailers, movie theaters, and even the Metropolitan Opera House have made their way to the offices of the world’s leaders.

The United Nations said Wednesday that it has been battling a bedbug infestation in the building since last year. The organization thought it had the problem under control, but bedbug-sniffing dogs found the bloodsuckers in chairs in one of the building's offices.

"New York City is a very large city. The U.N. compound is a rather small part of a very large city. And I think that you all know that if you live in New York City, that there are reports -- perhaps not every day -- but there are many reports about bedbugs in various locations around the city," a spokesman for the U.N. Secretary-General’s office said at a briefing. "That’s not to minimize any occurrence that there might be here, but I think one needs to look at it in the bigger context."

 

The spokesman didn’t say how often the offices were being fumigated.

Bedbugs are nocturnal parasites that have been resurfacing in New York and other big cities. The tiny vermin multiply quickly, and they can survive without food -- human blood -- for long periods of time. Bedbugs are typically found in the home, hiding in beds and other furniture. The bugs latch on to the body and can spread around a city quickly.

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