Story: Epidemics

Plague rats

Plague rats

The infectious disease bubonic plague first appeared in New Zealand in 1900. There were only a small number of deaths and the disease disappeared around 1911. Rats were known to be a carrier of the disease and efforts to kill them increased in the wake of plague fears. These rats were killed during a clean-up in Dunedin.

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Dunedin City Council Archives
Reference: 261

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How to cite this page:

Geoff Rice, 'Epidemics - The influenza era, 1890s to 1920s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 May 2022)

Story by Geoff Rice, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 15 May 2018