A recent pathogen outbreak in Illinois is just one of many outbreaks of an underappreciated, but serious, viral infection passed from rodents to humans. These hantaviruses have been cropping up more frequently in the last decade or so, giving us more reason to clean out our dusty attics, basements, and garages.

In December 2016, eight people were infected by the Seoul virus, a virus in the Hantavirus genus of pathogens. This virus is carried and transmitted by rodents like mice, voles, and domestic and wild rats.

Hantaviruses travel with its carriers. Because the rodent reservoirs that carry… more


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