Experts at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine have been assisting the Illinois Department of Public Health in investigating several cases of Seoul virus, which is carried by domestic and wild rats and in severe cases may cause a disease in people called hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS).
At this time, although pet rats and humans at specific sites in Illinois have tested positive for Seoul virus, the general population is at low risk as the virus is not transmitted person to person.
However, testing is ongoing and rat owners have been advised to use precaution in handling their rats and cleaning spaces contaminated with rat urine or feces. (See alert at right and the links below.)
More information can be found at:
- http://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/seoul-virus (Includes links to recommendations on safe handling and cleaning up after pet rats and an update on the Illinois cases.)