Rome trash crisis: doctors say risk of disease

Disease risk linked to cockroaches, rats, flies and seagulls at Rome bins.

"There is a risk of passing from a hygienic emergency to a medical emergency, and therefore the risk of spreading diseases" due to the rubbish piled up on Rome's streets, according to the president of the city's doctors' guild, Antonio Magi.

Raising a new health warning about Rome's trash crisis, Magi sent a letter to the mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, the president of the Lazio Region, Nicola Zingaretti, Italy's health minister Giulia Grillo and enviornment minister Sergio Costa, inviting them to intervene in a unified approach before the situation degenerates further, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

The letter states: "Rome is now caught in the grip of stinking waste, mountains of bags spilling out of dirty bins that are abandoned on the ground, with a consequent alarming invasion of opportunistic animals such as flies, cockroaches, rats and seagulls that feed on waste."

This is the second warning from the Ordine dei Medici di Roma regarding Rome's rubbish crisis and follows a public health alert from the Lazio Region.

While acknowledging the "critical issues" facing Rome's waste collection, Raggi insists that the situation is not at emergency levels and has promised that the city is working hard to "overcome and find a solution to the many problems that exist."

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