3 people in Ontario have contracted the Seoul virus, which is spread by rats

According to Dr. David Williams, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is investigating three human cases of Seoul virus in people who have had prolonged contact with rats. Williams says no serious health problems have been reported.

Seoul virus is a type of hantavirus that can be transmitted from rats to humans through bites or exposure to urine, faeces, saliva or contaminated litter.

According to officials, the health risk for Ontarians is considered low and Seoul virus is not transmitted from person to person.

A person infected with the Seoul virus can not develop symptoms or develop only very mild symptoms. However, in some cases, more severe symptoms may include fever, severe headache, abdominal and back pain, chills, blurred vision, redness of the eyes or rash.

Williams says the source of the diseases, including links to a multi-state survey in the United States, is being investigated.

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About the Author: Trey Nelson

Trey Nelson has over six years experience as a teacher, ecologist, zoologist and botanist. She has a B.S. from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University Graduate School. His professional expertise in environmental health empacts has been recognized since 1973, when she testified at a New York DEC public hearing in Utica on ground truthing aerial photo wetland mapping by wetland community type. He taught (HS) Physics, Geology, Oceanography, Chemistry and photography from 1970-1980 at Palfrey Street School, Watertown, MA. Aproject: National Cooperative Highway Research Program.

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