View Full Version : man of 29 dies of rabbit flu...

22-08-2006, 01:55 PM
omg and i laughed at my mum when she told me and siad shed got it wrong!!

the problem is we all are aware of this disease but i didnt know cats and dogs have it too! Was i being thick here?

the worry i have now is a mass panic in public over bunnies killing people..

Its going to need a bunny vet to speak out on bunnies defence..i can nly imagine the consequences of this article..

im sad for the guys family and wouldnt wish it on anyone..but he was culling bunnies..and removing the bodies without gloves..shudders...

heres the article..

The Times August 21, 2006

Young farmer dies as 'rabbit flu' claims its first human victim
By David Sanderson

Parents appeal for greater public awareness of risk after their son handled an infected animal he had shot on farm

John Freeman with his grandfather, Jack. He died within four days of falling ill

A YOUNG farmer has died from rabbit flu in what vets believe is the first time that the bacterium has been fatally transmitted from animal to human in this country.
John Freeman became infected with the bacterium Pasteurella multocida after picking up a rabbit he had shot on his farm. He fell ill with a fever the next day and doctors initially suspected flu or chickenpox.

But after Mr Freeman, 29, died in hospital three days later from septicaemia, a postmortem examination revealed that he was infected with the bacterium that causes pasteurellosis, which is known as rabbit flu or snuffles, even though it is not a virus.

Leading vets said that the bacterium was common in many animals, including domestic cats and dogs, but they had never encountered a fatal rabbit-to-human transmission.

Mr Freeman’s parents said they were flabbergasted that such a disease was “floating around the countryside” with no apparent public awareness. Peter Freeman, 58, said it was vital that people were made aware of the risk: “John’s death was absolutely dreadful for us. But this horrendous disease is being carried by so many animals across the country, yet nobody knows about it.”

He said that his son, who was 6ft 5in and weighed 18 stone, managed to survive for four days because of his strength. He added that a young child would be dead within hours after becoming infected.

Mr Freeman and his wife, Joan, believe that the bacteria passed into their son’s body through a blister on his thumb caused by shovelling corn the day before he went out to cull rabbits on the family’s 800- acre arable farm near Stowmarket, Suffolk.

He complained of feeling unwell the next day and was taken to see a GP who said that he thought he had either flu or chickenpox, because he had developed a rash.

Mrs Freeman said that her son felt “absolutely ghastly” the day after and they returned to the GP, where he collapsed. He was taken to hospital in Ipswich.

“At the hospital he was sedated and given antibiotics, adrenalin and platelets until the doctors decided there was nothing more they could do for him,” Mrs Freeman said yesterday.

“We sat in disbelief and shock in hospital as we watched him die in front of us. The bug which killed him was so rampant and invasive that he really stood no chance.

“Before he died I had never heard of anyone being killed by an infection in rabbits.”

Mr Freeman, a graduate in land management from Harper Adams University in Shropshire, had been due to take over the running of the farm next year. As the couple’s only child, his death on August 5 threatens to end a farming dynasty that has been in the Aspall area near Stowmarket since 1641.

His mother said that countryside pursuits had been his hobby. “John had a ready smile and a quick wit. He gave up rugby so he could spend more time shooting. He simply loved getting out into the countryside with his gun.”

Professor Sheila Crispin, president of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, said that he had been very unfortunate. “The disease can kill off rabbits fairly quickly, but there’s no particular risk to other animals. There’s no mention in our veterinary textbooks of risk to humans. This young man has been very unfortunate.”

Freda Scott-Park, president of the British Veterinary Association, added that because of its rarity doctors would not necessarily know what to look for. She said that, if someone had been bitten by a dog or cat, then GPs should be aware of the potential risk.

The Health Protection Agency said that there were only a handful of cases of humans being infected with Pasteurella multocida, usually from cats and dogs, each year and that deaths were very rare. A spokesman added: “It is a treatable disease if it’s caught soon enough and antibiotics can clear it up.

“However, it is when the infection travels to the blood that it can be fatal. It is extremely rare for people to get it and even more so for them to die from it.”

A case of the snuffles

Pasteurella multocida is named after Louis Pasteur

It is believed to be present in up to 75 per cent of cats, 50 per cent of dogs and 10 per cent of rabbits

It is most likely to occur in animals under stress, for example if they are being transported

Symptoms in animals include nasal discharges, sneezing, conjunctivitis, clogged tear ducts and abscesses

If a human is infected with the bacterium a course of antibiotics can kill it if diagnosed quickly. Symptoms include fever, rashes and other flu-like indications

22-08-2006, 04:42 PM
Theres a long thread about it here :wink:

22-08-2006, 06:59 PM
:oops: i thought id checked too..my bad..please delete!!

thanks for that..im a twit for not seeing it!!