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Rat owners urged to practise safe handling
Researchers pinpointed 24 people in Canada and the US who developed acute Seoul virus infections after contact with pet rats.
Investigation confirms Seoul virus infection in humans 

Rat owners are being urged to practise safe handling following an outbreak of Seoul virus amongst humans in the United States.

According to Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, doctors in the US and Canada have seen cases of Seoul virus infection in humans who contracted the virus from their pet rats.

Speaking to Reuters Health, Dr Janna Kerins of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said: “In December 2016, a patient in Wisconsin was hospitalised for fever and a low white blood cell count and ultimately tested positive for Seoul virus. Soon after, a family member developed similar symptoms and also tested positive.”

Following confirmation of the infection, the CDC and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services launched an investigation into the source of the disease. Dr Kerins, who co-authored the report, said that the outbreak spread from sales or trade of infected pet rats between people’s homes or where they are bred, in 11 states.

Researchers pinpointed 24 people in Canada and the US who developed acute Seoul virus infections after contact with pet rats. Kerins said that eight became ill and three were hospitalised but made a full recovery.

Seoul virus is a type of hantavirus found in the Norway rat. Rats infected with the disease are asymptomatic but can transmit the virus to humans through infectious saliva, urine, droppings, or aerosolization from contaminated bedding. Signs and symptoms in humans range from mild influenza-like illness to hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome.

“This is a good reminder that rats and other rodents can carry hantavirus without looking sick, so it is important for owners of pet rats to be aware of the risk for Seoul virus infection, and to practice good hand hygiene . . . such as washing hands after handling rodents and before preparing food, and by avoiding rat bites and scratches,” Kerins said.

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New single-dose RHD-2 vaccine launched

News Story 1
 The first monovalent vaccine to be registered in Europe for the prevention of rabbit hemorrhagic disease type 2 (RHD-2) has been launched by animal health firm HIPRA.

ERAVAC is a single-dose injectable emulsion that can be administered without the need for reconstitution beforehand. The new presentation contains 10 vials with individual doses that can be given to companion rabbits from 30 days of age. 

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News Shorts
New canine and feline dentistry manual announced

A new canine and feline dentistry and oral surgery manual has been published by the BSAVA. Announcing the news on its website, the BSAVA said this latest edition contains new step-by-step operative techniques, together with full-colour illustrations and photographs.

‘This is a timely publication; veterinary dentistry is a field that continues to grow in importance for the general veterinary practitioner,’ the BSAVA said. ‘The manual has been fully revised and updated to include the most relevant, evidence-based techniques.’

The BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Dentistry and Oral Surgery, 4th edition is available to purchase from www.bsava.com/shop