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Zoonoses
Hantavirus and pet rodents
  1. Charlotte A. Featherstone1,
  2. Stephen Wyllie2,
  3. Andrew J. Frost3,
  4. Lorraine McElhinney4 and
  5. Anthony R. Fooks4
  1. 1AHVLA – Thirsk, West House, Station Road, Thirsk, North Yorkshire YO7 1PZ, charlotte.featherstone@ahvla.gsi.gov.uk
  2. 2Defra,
  3. 3AHVLA, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR
  4. 4AHVLA – Weybridge, Woodham Lane, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB and National Consortium for Zoonosis Research, Leahurst, Neston, Cheshire CH64 7TE

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COLLEAGUES may be aware of a human case report of infection with Seoul hantavirus in the UK. The probable source of infection was linked to the patient's two pet rats (Jameson and others 2013b). Hantaviruses are a group of rodent-borne viruses with a worldwide distribution, which may be transmitted to people through exposure to the urine, saliva and faeces of infected rodents. Several viruses of this group are zoonotic. The Old World hantaviruses cause multisystem disease with a focus on renal failure (haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome [HFRS]) and those associated with the New World cause multisystem disease with a focus on the lungs (hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome [HCPS], also known as acute respiratory distress syndrome).

HCPS is responsible for an estimated 11 to 48 human …

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