Something to keep in mind if you have pet rats or work with the animal; two cases of Seoul virus have popped up in Waterloo Region.
The virus can only be transmitted to people from rats through bite wounds or exposure to urine, feces, saliva or contaminated bedding.
A person can get the virus by simply cleaning out their pet’s cage.
Brenda Miller, Manager of Health Protection and Investigation with Region of Waterloo Public Health says the two cases involved people who had pet rats. They got their pets from the same local rattery.
Although Public Health cannot identify the rattery, they can confirm it has been shut down for an investigation.
They add there is a very low risk of the virus spreading to the general public and if you do have the virus, your body will most likely be able to fight it off on its own.
A person infected with Seoul virus may not develop symptoms or will only develop very mild symptoms. However, in some instances, more severe symptoms may include fever, severe headache, back and abdominal pain, chills, blurred vision, redness of the eyes, or rash.
For the rat though, this is a lifetime diagnosis.
Seoul virus cannot spread person to person.