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Seoul virus: Colorado among 12 states investigated after outbreak of rodent-carried virus

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Posted at 4:29 PM, Jan 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-26 18:37:38-05

DENVER — A rodent-carried virus that cropped up in a group of people in Illinois and Wisconsin prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate in a group of states, including in Colorado. 

Colorado is one of 12 states under investigation after rodents potentially carrying the Seoul virus were distributed across the nation. 

Eight people contracted the virus in December of 2016 in Illinois and Wisconsin after getting rats from breeding programs in the two states. The infected rats trace back to two Illinois ratteries. 

Although all victims have since recovered, the outbreak prompted an investigation in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin. 

Humans can't pass this virus to other humans, only rats can transfer the virus via bodily fluid -- including urine and bites.

Symptoms of the disease can be serious, including fatal, but typically are relegated to a fever, headache, back and stomach pain, nausea, blurry vision, rash and more. In very rare cases, infections can lead to renal disease, called Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome. 

It can take one to two weeks after contact for symptoms to flare up. The CDC hasn't reported any cases in Colorado, but is concerned rats with the virus may have been transported to the state. 

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