Multi-state Outbreak of Seoul Virus – Update

PUBLISHED: Feb 22, 2017

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is assisting health officials in 15 states in investigating an outbreak of Seoul virus infection that has recently infected 13 people in 8 states.

Follow-up investigations by the CDC and partnering state and local health departments indicate that potentially infected rodents may have been distributed or received in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin.

CDC’s current recommendations are:

  • 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 should also be 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.

Additionally, 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.

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.

As the CDC’s investigation continues, StayAlert! will publish additional information as it becomes available. See the StayAlert! Notice published on January 27, 2017 for more information.

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