1. Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN

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First ever report of tularemia from a hamster bite. According to the January 7 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a three-year-old boy in Colorado apparently contracted tularemia after being bitten by a pet hamster. A cat living at the pet store from which the hamster was purchased also tested positive for Francisella tularensis, although the animal didn't get sick. Health officials believe that wild, infected rodents in the store had defecated and urinated through the screens covering the captive rodents' cages. Keeping pet hamsters has never before been associated with tularemia, although hunting wild ones in Russia has. The boy recovered after treatment with ciprofloxacin (Cipro).


Earlier prediction of preeclampsia. The time between the diagnosis of preeclampsia (on the basis of hypertension and proteinuria) and the onset of symptoms is often quite short, which places both mother and fetus at risk for severe morbidity, even death. In the January 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Levine and colleagues announced findings showing that urinary levels of placental growth factor are predictive of preeclampsia, giving clinicians early warning-as much as five weeks before symptoms appear-of the potentially life-threatening condition.