This article is from the WSSF 2017 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
In December 2016, a breeder in Wisconsin was ill and hospitalized and January 2017 it was confirmed she had the Seoul Hantavirus. She recovered but because she had pet rats, the CDC started an investigation to try and find the origin. Because of how intertwined breeders are with getting stock from each other all over the country and to/from other countries on a regular basis, this investigation ended up spreading all over the Midwest to the East Coast and into Canada, to as far west as Utah and Idaho. Since this investigation was spreading west and several breeders on the West Coast had obtained stock from breeders in states being investigated, breeders here fully expected to be contacted. Because of this we chose to play it safe and not conduct any shows or have rats in displays while this investigation was going on.
The CDC had information on the virus as well as the latest states being investigated that breeders and fanciers could check to see the spread of the investigation.
To keep fanciers up-to-date and become informed about this virus, articles, links, news stories, and information
was added to the web site including a
Diagnostics Laboratories section of places
that breeders and fanciers could use to get their rats tested. IDEXX is now offering a reduced price for multiple numbers of rats
to be tested for Hantavirus. Now only $9 each for 10 or more submitted at the same time; new code: Hantaan Virus Antibody—10
or More Specimens #38881 vet code. Charles River is $13.75 each.
Rats don’t show symptoms if they are positive and quarantining new arrivals is not something that will work for this virus, only testing. This is found in wild rats so DO NOT bring in wild rats nor let wild rodents around your animals, their food, or bedding. It is spread by urine, feces, saliva, bites. Also, new animals brought into your facility from other breeders should be tested since it has been found in some pet rats.