Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hamster Trouble

My brother forwarded on this scary story about PetSmart being sued due to the possibility that a diseased hamster with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (also known as LCMV which was, incidentally, misspelled in the article :p ) caused the death of her husband. Here is the blog with a link to the article:

Above the Law

Now, a little about LCMV: It is a viral infection of mice (primarily) that is considered "zoonotic" or transmissible between animals and humans. It is transmitted primarily through oral or respiratory contact with infected rodent feces or urine. There have been cases of death reported from a "hemorrhagic fever-like disease," but the more common signs in people include mild flu-like symptoms (and that means the "actual" flu, not the fabled "stomach flu" that so many people seem to get. Sorry....random rant on a pet peeve of mine.) Even in cases that develop a coma with a meningoencephalitis, the prognosis is considered good as long as there are no other complications. Mice are typically asymptomatic carriers, meaning they typically don't show signs of disease if they have it.

--source: Heymann, D.L. , et al. Control of Communicable Diseases Manual. 18th edition, 2004. An Official Report of the American Public Health Association. pgs 320-322.

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