Prevention of a Seoul virus infection

Learn how to prevent being infected by Seoul virus.

How can a Seoul virus infection be prevented?

There is no vaccine for Seoul virus infection. The key to disease prevention is:

  • preventing rodent infestations
  • avoiding contact with rodent urine, feces, saliva, and nesting material
  • properly cleaning and disinfecting areas contaminated by rodent urine, feces or saliva

Keep your home, workplace, cottage or campsite rodent-free. All rodent feces are potentially harmful. You should:

  • block openings that might let rodents in
  • store food, water and garbage in containers with tightly fitted lids
  • keep your yard clean
  • stack woodpiles away from buildings

Properly clean and disinfect areas contaminated by rodent urine, feces or saliva. Follow the steps below.

  1. Wear rubber or plastic gloves. If you are cleaning in a confined space, wear a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtered respirator.
  2. Do not sweep or vacuum rodent feces. This will release particles into the air, which you could then breathe in.
  3. Spray feces with a household disinfectant or a mixture of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Let the area soak for 10 minutes to make sure any virus within the feces will be killed.
  4. Wipe up wet feces with paper towels or a wet mop if dealing with a large area. 
  5. Wash gloves in disinfectant and hot soapy water before taking them off.  Afterwards, wash your hands thoroughly.
  6. If a wet mop was used to clean the area, use disinfectant and hot soapy water to clean the mop.

For more information for rat owners, please see:

Know the symptoms of a Seoul virus infection. See a health care provider immediately if they develop.

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