In Germany, a young patient contracted the hantavirus from her domestic rat. This was reported by the press service of the Charite Clinic on Thursday, November 12.
“The virus takes its original origin in Asia and may have been brought to Europe by wild rats on ships. However, it has not previously been observed in Germany,” said Professor Jorg Hofmann.
As the scientists suggested, the domestic rat, which was diagnosed with the virus, was imported from abroad. The patient was admitted to the intensive care unit after developing acute renal failure.
Serological testing soon confirmed the suspected diagnosis of hantavirus infection. However, this type of hantavirus remained unknown. Thanks to a special molecular diagnostic technique, the researchers confirmed that the patient and her rat were infected with the Seoul virus.
“The fact that the pathogen was found in a domestic rat means that the virus can be exported through the trade in these animals practically all over the world,” the researchers emphasized and urged the rat owners to be careful.
According to the WHO, the Seoul virus is a type of hantavirus that spreads from rats to humans. In severe cases, patients may develop the bleeding and renal syndrome. The infection can also be asymptomatic. At the same time, the Seoul virus is not transmitted from person to person, and there is currently no effective treatment for the infection.
Recall that earlier, scientists have identified cases of mutual infection of COVID-19 minks and humans. In the Netherlands, 66 of the 97 employees of the mink farms studied were infected by the end of June.