The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other state health departments are investigating illnesses caused by the Seoul virus, a rare type of hantavirus carried by Norway and black rats.
Hantaviruses are a family of related viruses found worldwide, typically carried by rodents. Rats with Seoul hantavirus will appear healthy. People can get hantavirus infections from having contact with, or being in close proximity to infected rodents, or their urine and droppings. It can also be transmitted through a bite from an infected rat. This virus cannot be spread from person to person. See below for frequently asked questions regarding symptoms and exposure.
WHAT IS NEW?:
- DHS is working with the CDC and other state health departments to look for additional cases in Wisconsin or other states, and to determine where the infected rats came from.
- January 19, 2017: DHS released a press release, "Health Officials Investigate Rare Viral Illness Linked to Ratteries in Wisconsin and Illinois."
|Wisconsin Seoul Hantavirus 2017 Case Count—Updated May 26, 2017|
|Wisconsin Case Count||3|
|National Case Count (including Wisconsin cases)||17|
Individuals who have had contact with rats and who experience Seoul hantavirus symptoms should contact their health care provider immediately.