The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published a report describing the 2017 outbreak of Seoul virus among rats and rat owners in the US and Canada: Outbreak of Seoul Virus Among Rats and Rat Owners — United States and Canada, 2017. The outbreak was first detected in Wisconsin and grew to include 11 states.
The report outlines the collaboration between CDC, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and other public health officials to investigate this outbreak – the first known transmission of Seoul virus from pet rats to humans in the United States and Canada.
Seoul virus, a type of hantavirus found naturally in rats, causes influenza-like illness in people and rarely can result in kidney failure or death. This report demonstrates the importance of state and federal collaboration during multi-state outbreaks, as well as the ongoing risk for Seoul virus infection for people living in or visiting households with Seoul virus-infected rodents.