Saturday, February 18, 2017

Seoul Virus Outbreak Update

Seoul virus has been found in a pet rat at a breeder’s in Pennsylvania.  This rat came from Tennessee where other Seoul virus infections have been found, so the rat was likely infected there.  In order to stop the spread of the virus further, the rats at the breeder’s in Pennsylvania were euthanized.

Overall, this is yet another finding of Seoul virus in pet rats connected to an outbreak that originated in Colorado breeding facility.  This outbreak, in addition to the infections mentioned above and in a number of other states, has led to 13 human infections.  Human infection can follow after exposure to infected rat feces, urine, blood, or saliva.  These exposures can happen due to the inhalation of infected particles, rat bites, or the consumption of contaminated food.  And after an incubation period of 7-14 days, human infection manifests with flu like illness, with others being asymptomatic, and others requiring more serious medical assistance for kidney problems.

- Devon Z.

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