The CDC indicates health safety organizations in twelve states – including Alabama – are looking into an outbreak of the Seoul Virus. – CDC Home Based Rat Breeding Facility Triggers Seoul Virus Outbreak
CDC Home Based Rat Breeding Facility Triggers Seoul Virus Outbreak
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is conducting an investigation into an outbreak of a virus transmitted by rats which could negatively affect humans in at least 12 states, including Alabama.
The CDC indicates health safety organizations in twelve states are looking into an outbreak of the Seoul Virus.
The Seoul Virus comes from wild and domesticated rates. Infected rodents carry the virus passable to humans via through contact with the rodents oral saliva, excretive urine, or bowel droppings. A rat bite can also transmit the disease.
The CDC states that the Seoul Virus can infect human beings via airborne means. Stirring up fresh rodent urine, feces, or bedding materials from vacuuming or sweeping may throw small particles harboring the virus into the air. If inhaled, a human can become infected.
The range of observable symptoms from Seoul Virus varying dramatically. Some infected people will display mild or no symptoms. Others can develop a form of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome that can cause death in 1 to 2% of cases.
Typical symptoms of Seoul Virus include:
• Blurred vision
• Inflammation or redness of the eyes
• Pain – back and/or abdominal
The reported outbreak has infected eight people in Illinois and Wisconsin.
The outbreak is believed to have started at a home-based rat breeding facility in Wisconsin. Another six people at two different Illinois rat mills have also tested positive.
According to the CDC, as of January 24th, the following states have been notified their residents may have infected rats:
• South Carolina
CDC is assisting health officials in these 12 states.
CDC Seoul Virus Current Recommendations
1. CDC currently recommends blood testing for all people who report recent or current illness after:
Handling rats from a facility with laboratory-confirmed Seoul virus infection in either humans or rats, or
Handling rats from a facility that sold rats to a facility with Seoul virus infection.
Testing is also offered to persons with exposure to rats from a facility with Seoul virus infection that was confirmed by laboratory testing, or to persons with exposure to rats from a facility that sold rats to a facility with Seoul virus infection but where no illness was reported. All testing should be coordinated with the healthcare provider’s local or state health department.
2. People with potentially infected rats should not sell, trade, or release their rats. They should contact their state health department with any questions. Healthcare providers should emphasize the importance of safe animal practices with their patients.
3. Health care providers may also consider blood testing of patients with symptoms suggestive of Seoul virus infection and a history of rat contact, regardless of whether there is known interaction with rats or rat facilities with laboratory-confirmed Seoul virus infections.
Anyone with questions/concerns about the rat-transmitted Seoul Virus can call the CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO.