One Utah County resident has been infected by the Seoul virus infection, according to the Utah County Health Department (UCHD) and Utah Department of Health (UDOH). The Seoul virus infection is a rare type of hantavirus that is carried by rats.
“Individuals with rats as pets are encouraged to follow health and cleaning precautions,” said UCHD Executive Director Ralph Clegg in a press release. “We are working with the CDC and UDOH to protect the health of Utah County residents.”
There have been 15 states affected by the Seoul virus, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). UCHD is investigating Seoul virus infection in direct exposure to rats at a rat breeding facility.
The disease is transferred from rats, which may appear healthy, to humans through contact and close proximity to infected rodents, rats’ urine and droppings, or a bite. Current studies say the virus cannot be spread from human to human.
Some of the symptoms of the virus include fever, intense headache, back and abdominal pain, chills, blurred vision, nausea, flushing of the face, rash, and inflammation and redness of the eyes. Most symptoms appear within a week or two of exposure, but sometimes symptoms don’t develop until up to eight weeks following exposure.
Those who have had contact with rats recently and who experience these symptoms are encourage to contact their health care provider for individualized care.