The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is working to determine how a rare rat virus sickened two people sick in Wisconsin and six others in Illinois. The cases have been linked to two rat breeders in Illinois, and investigators believe those breeders sold rats to Wisconsin facilities.
All eight people had direct contact with the rats and picked up the Seoul virus — which can cause flu like symptoms and renal disease in the most severe cases.
Both Wisconsinites with the Seoul virus have recovered, and all but one of the six Illinois patients did not show any symptoms. DHS has not said where the infected rats came from, and the breeders are not selling pets while they work with state and federal agencies to learn the cause of the outbreak.