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Outbreak of Rare Flu-Like Virus in Midwest Linked To Rat Breeding Operations

An outbreak of a flu-like virus in Illinois and Wisconsin has been linked to two rat breeders in Illinois, the Illinois Department of Public Health said. Six Illinois residents have tested positive for Seoul virus, a type of hantavirus that may cause flu-like symptoms and, in severe cases, kidney disease. All of those residents had direct contact with rats that came from two different rodent breeders or “ratteries.” Two additional people in Wisconsin were infected with the virus after purchasing rats from the same two Illinois ratteries, IDPH officials said. “Seoul virus is not known to be transmitted from person ... Read More

Soy-Based Wire Coatings Turn Car Engines Into Rodent B&Bs

A growing number of consumer reports and complaints are raising concerns that automotive wiring made from soy and other biodegradable food-based materials is transforming car engines into the ultimate bed and breakfasts for rodents, usually causing extensive and costly damage. One Arizona resident told Phoenix’s KTVK that rats chowing down on the wires in her Toyota Prius have made life a nightmare. When her car stopped functioning, she discovered that rats had crawled through the engine compartment and gnawed through the car’s electronic wiring system. She had the Prius repaired to the tune of more than $8,000 out of pocket ... Read More