Rabbit flu takes British farmer's life

August 21, 2006

A 29-year-old farmer is believed to be Britain's first fatal case of rabbit flu.

John Freeman reportedly became infected with the bacteria pasteurella multocida after handling a rabbit on his farm, Sky News reported. Freeman died within the week and an autopsy revealed the cause of death to be septicemia resulting from pasteurellosis, known as rabbit flu or snuffles.

A spokesman for Britain's Heath Protection Agency told Sky News there are only a handful of cases of humans being infected with pasteurella multocida each year, usually from dogs and cats, and death is a rare occurrence.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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