It’s not particularly surprising, I guess, but a few cases of Seoul virus infection have been identified in Ontario residents who breed or have contact with rats. Fortunately, like most infections with this type of hantavirus, disease was mild. Equally not surprising is that infected rats have been found in Ontario rat-breeding facilities. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is investigating the source of the virus, including any possible connections to the ongoing outbreak of Seoul virus in the US, which has resulted in 16 confirmed human infections to date. It’s another reminder of the ever-present risk of emerging or unusual diseases, and that risks increase when animals are moved around the country or planet. Seoul virus can be transmitted from rats to people via contact with urine, feces or saliva (so wash your hands after handling rats and avoid kissing them!), but there is no evidence that it can be transmitted from person to person. More information for Ontario veterinarians is available in the OMAFRA Veterinary Update posted on OAHN.ca.