Jan 6, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – A 3-year-old Colorado boy fell ill with tularemia after a bite from a pet hamster last year in the first documented case of its kind in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today.”Tularemia has not been associated previously with pet hamsters,” the CDC says in the Jan 7 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published online today. “Clinicians and public health officials should be aware that pet hamsters might be a potential source of tularemia.”Tularemia in the United States is usually linked to insect bites or handling carcasses of small animals, particularly rabbits. The disease is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, one of the six biological agents deemed most likely to be used by terrorists.The Colorado boy’s family had bought six hamsters from a Denver pet store in January or February 2004, according to the CDC report. All the hamsters died of a diarrheal disease within a week after they were bought, but one of them bit the boy on a finger before it died. A week later the boy had fever and swollen axillary lymph nodes. His symptoms persisted despite treatment with amoxicillin clavulanate.Seven weeks after the onset of the boy’s symptoms, an axillary biopsy and subsequent laboratory tests led to the detection of F tularensis. The boy had had no other risk factors for exposure to tularemia, such as tick or mosquito bites or contact with game meat. He improved after treatment with ciprofloxacin, the article says.Investigation revealed that many hamsters kept at or recently bought from the Denver pet store had died around the time of the boy’s illness, the report says. But because no carcasses were available for testing, officials couldn’t confirm that the hamster was the source of the infection. However, a pet cat that lived at the store had a positive serologic test for tularemia, though it was not sick. In view of the circumstantial evidence and the lack of other possible risk factors, the hamster was the most likely cause of the boy’s illness, investigators concluded.The CDC speculates that wild rodents carrying tularemia might have “infested the pet store and spread the infection to hamsters by urinating and defecating through metal screens covering hamster cages.” A similar scenario led to a tularemia outbreak among monkeys in a zoo once before, the report says.Tularemia has been associated with “hamster hunting” in Russia but has not been previously linked with pet hamsters in the United States, the CDC says. No further cases were found after the pet-store owner was advised to set traps to control wild rodents, the article concludes.CDC. Tularemia associated with a hamster bite—Colorado, 2004. MMWR 2005 Jan 7;53(51 & 52):1202-3See also:CIDRAP overview of tularemia
Norwegian oil company Equinor has received consent from the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) for exploration drilling in the North Sea with the Transocean Spitsbergen rig. Transocean Spitsbergen; Photo by Kenneth Engelsvold; Source EquinorThe safety agency said on Wednesday it had given Equinor consent to drill exploration well 16/5-7 in production license 502, which is located in the North Sea offshore Norway.The well 16/5-7 is to be drilled north-west of the Utsira High in the North Sea, south-west of Johan Sverdrup and north-east of Sleipner.Water depth at the location is around 105 meters. Drilling is scheduled to begin in mid-May 2019 and is estimated to last for 28 days.The well will be drilled by Transocean Spitsbergen, which is a semi-submersible drilling rig of the Aker H-6e type, operated by Transocean Norway Operations.Transocean Spitsbergen received Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in 2012.
(REUTERS) – South Africa’s government has expressed disappointment at the decision to strip Durban of the right to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, saying the budget it had guaranteed for the event was sufficient.The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) said on Monday it was seeking a new host because the coastal city had failed to deliver on the promises it had made in its bid, including on governance, venues, funding and risk management.But South Africa’s Minister of Sport, Fikile Mbalula, said the financial demands of the CGF were excessive, and that in a tough economic climate the country would not leave itself exposed to an “open-ended guarantee” on the event’s budget.He said the government disagreed with the CGF’s statement, while respecting its decision as the rights holder.“Our country is regrettably not in a position to make huge financial commitments given the current competing socio-economic needs and global economic downturn,” he told reporters yesterday.“In the interests of fiscal discipline and financial prudency, our government has considered all options and remains confident that we have acted in the best interest of South Africa.”Durban missed deadlines last November to sign the host city contract, establish an organising committee and make contracted payments to the CGF.Mbalula said the government had approved a budget of 4.32 billion rand (£270.08 million) which it believed was ample, using the country’s hosting of the All Africa Games 18 years ago as a yardstick.“The 1999 All Africa Games are comparable in size, the number of athletes, the number of technical officials and the duration, to the planned Commonwealth Games of 2022,” Mbalula said.“South Africa successfully hosted the All Africa Games with a budget of 252 million rand. Should it be compounded at 6 percent per annum over a period of 21 years, it will amount to 808 million rand in 2022.“The actual cost of the (All Africa) Games is an illustration that a multi-code sport event can be successfully hosted within an affordable budget.”Birmingham and Liverpool have expressed an interest in stepping in to replace Durban in 2022. The 2018 event will be held on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Margaret AstMargaret G (Hermes) Ast, loving wife and mother, born May 31, 1922, died April 5, 2015 at the age of 92.Rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and the Mass of the Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m.,Â Wednesday April 8, 2015, both at St. Peter Catholic Church in Schulte, KS.Margaret was born in Mt. Vernon, KS to the late Joseph and Catherine (Schmitz) Hermes.Â She was preceded in death by her husband of 71 years, Francis Ast,Â son: Gene; daughter-in-laws, Debra Ast and Wanda Ast;Â 7 sisters and 1 brother. Survived by brother, Lawrence (Donna) Hermes, sons; Vernon, David, Ron and Mike all of Monett, MO. Melvin (Gwen) of Wellington, Stan of Cheney, Glenn (Sarah) of Avon, CO; daughters; Judy Mertes of Wichita and Linda (Mike) McFerrin of Ft. Collins, CO. 28 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren.Memorial to: St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.