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Saturday, October 2, 2004

Pet Hamster Kills Owner

A man died from asthma after being bitten several times by his pet hamster in Saitama, a city north of Tokyo, Japan, the Mainichi Shimbun reported Tuesday.

The man, who was in his 40s, suffered from an allergic disease called anaphylaxis (aka anaphylactic shock) after the hamster's saliva entered his body, setting off asthmatic symptoms.

Even before being admitted to the hospital, his heart and lungs had stopped functioning. He died shortly afterwards.

Killer hamster ices owner [The Register]
Man dies after pet hamster bites him [Washington Times]

Anaphylaxis to Food [from foodallergy.org]:

Peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, cashews, etc.), shellfish, fish, milk, and eggs commonly cause anaphylactic reactions. Only a trace amount of a problem food can cause a reaction in some individuals.

In the U.S., food-induced anaphylaxis is believed to cause about 30,000 trips to the emergency room and between 150 to 200 deaths each year. Individuals who are allergic to foods and have asthma are believed to be at a higher risk for developing an anaphylactic reaction.

A recent study of 32 cases of fatal food-allergy induced anaphylaxis showed that adolescents who have peanut and tree nut allergy and asthma and don't have quick access to epinephrine, EpiPen®, during a reaction, are at highest risk for a fatal reaction.

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