A group of researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have confirmed Germany’s first-ever case of animal-to-human transmission involving a specific species of virus known as the ‘Seoul virus’. Working alongside colleagues from Friedrich-Loeffer-Institut (FLI), the researchers were able to confirm the presence of the virus in a young female patient and her pet rat. Their findings, which have been published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, may influence the way in which we deal with both wild and domesticated rats.
Following multiple outbreaks earlier in the 21st century, hantavirus disease syndromes have gained increasing levels of public attention and were made notifiable in Germany in 2001. The Puumala and Dobrava-Belgrade viruses, for instance, which are common across central Europe and can be spread by numerous types of mice, usually cause acute fever.