The rat population around the two Occupy D.C. camps at McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza has “exploded”since protesters began their vigil in October, according to Mohammad N. Akhter, the director of the District’s Department of Health…

“Going down to these camps, it’s no different than refu­gee camps,” Akhter said. “People are living in very primitive conditions and they’re doing it by choice. They are very brave and thoughtful people, but my concern is that they should also take care of themselves. When the weather goes bad suddenly we’re watching a tragedy unfold in the middle of Washington, D.C. ”