Indiana trying to alert rat buyers about rare virus threat

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INDIANAPOLIS — State health officials are trying to track down Indiana residents who bought rats from an Illinois breeder who’s part of an investigation into human infections of a rare rat virus.

The State Department of Health is working to contact six Hoosiers who purchased rats from the Illinois breeder. It’s also working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and another state agency to notify health care providers and veterinarians about their risk of exposure to the Seoul virus.

Two rat-breeding facilities in Illinois and one in Wisconsin are linked to the multistate outbreak.

No Indiana residents have been diagnosed with the virus.

The Seoul virus can infect humans through direct contact with rats, but it cannot be spread between humans. Symptoms can include fever, chills, nausea and aches.

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