A virus rarely seen in the United States recently infected eight people in Wisconsin and Illinois who were working in facilities where pet rats are bred, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Health officials then discovered that the Wisconsin breeders had purchased rats from two rat-breeding facilities in Illinois, and tests showed that six people who worked at the Illinois facilities were infected with the same virus.
The Seoul virus is known to infect a species of rat called the Norway rat all over the world.
People become infected with Seoul virus when they are bitten by infected rats, or when they come into contact with the blood, saliva or urine of infected rats, the agency said.
People who become infected with the Seoul virus can develop fever, severe headaches, back and abdominal pain, chills, blurred vision, red eyes, or a rash, the CDC said.
Some people infected with the virus don’t show any symptoms.
All eight people infected in the current outbreak have recovered, and five out of the six people in Illinois who tested positive for the virus did not show symptoms, the IDPH said.
/ceLEBS insight news