Lymphocytic choriomeningitis from pet hamster exposure: a local public health experience.Am J Public Health. 1976 Nov; 66(11):1082-5.AJ
Eleven cases of hamster associated lymphocytic choriomeningitis occurred within a space of four months in Jefferson County, Alabama residents. A single Birmingham breeder was the source of the infected hamsters. Ten cases experienced an illness of one to three weeks duration with grippe-like symptoms being most frequent. Complaints of nine cases suggested meningeal involvement, and one was asymptomatic. All patients recovered uneventfully. Frequent hamster contact had occurred in most cases, although three individuals reported infrequent or room exposure to the animals. The holding of hamsters for observation prior to sale, random testing of all breeders' stock, and the distribution of printed information with each hamster sold are suggested as precautions against future outbreaks of this nature.