By Paul Schmitt
Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services is investigating two illnesses in Manitowoc County caused by the Seoul virus, which is a very rare type of hantavirus carried by Norway rats. The individuals were exposed to the rats at a rat breeder. Symptoms may vary but include abdominal pain, chills, blurred vision, redness of eyes and rashes. Severe cases can lead to an acute renal disease that could be fatal. Director of the Wisconsin Bureau of Communicable Diseases Stephanie Smiley says if you have had contacted with domestic rats watch for symptoms over a long period of time.
One of the infected persons had to hospitalized, but both have since recovered. Illinois Department of Public Health has reported six cases of the Seoul virus as well. For a list of ways to avoid becoming ill with diseases carried by rodents, go to https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/news/releases/011917.htm