- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

PROVO, Utah (AP) - Utah health officials have confirmed the state’s first case of an unusual virus carried by pet rats.

Officials said Tuesday the Seoul hantavirus already confirmed in 14 other states recently was detected in a Utah County resident who had direct contact with a former rat-breeding facility.

Experts are investigating whether there’s a link between the virus and the facility. But the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention earlier tied two Midwest cases to a breeding facility in Illinois.

Authorities say there’s no cause for worry unless someone’s been directly exposed to rodents because the virus spreads between rats and people, but doesn’t appear to spread from person to person.

Severe cases can result in acute kidney disease. But most symptoms are mild, including fever, severe headache, back or stomach pains, chills, blurred vision or red eyes.

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