With Tulip season about to begin, workers at the Park Hospital for the Afflicted and Infirm are preparing for long days, overnight stays, and time spent away from their families.
“It’s going to be difficult, but we’ve got the staff and supplies in place to do it and we believe we’re ready for whatever comes at us,” says head nurse Hermione Hippo.
The hospital has been preparing for a busy Spring since the end of November, when the 2013 Tulip Map was recalled. Officially known as the “Map of Tulip and other Bulb Beds in The Park and Environs,” the map is produced annually by The Park’s hibernating associations and is used in the Spring by a large number of The Park’s residents as a tool for sourcing food.
The discovery by the map’s producers of the presence of toxic substances in the bulbs’ planting areas meant that the map would be unsafe for use this Spring. Unfortunately, its subsequent recall came too late for the majority of The Park’s hibernators and doctors fear that even the Department of Well-Being and Safety’s public service campaign will not be sufficient to stem the tide of devastation due to Tulip-Related Illness (TRI).
“We’ve already treated a large number of Animals who presented with the signs and symptoms of TRI,” says Dr. Nuo Dingas, the hospital’s chief clinical toxicologist. “And they were the early risers, a small minority of our hibernating population. We are gearing up for an onslaught now that Spring has arrived,” he said.
TRI is not new to The Park, Dr. Dingas says. But, until recently, we have been able to keep it at bay.
“It is impossible to predict with one hundred per cent accuracy the location of all toxins inside and outside The Park so, of course, Animals have been affected in the past. But not nearly as many as we expect to see this year, and not just because of the map failure,” he says.
Symptoms of TRI include dizziness, fever, intestinal upset, vomiting, and seizures. If you experience any of these symptoms after visiting bulb beds, Dr. Dingas says, you should seek medical attention immediately.
“My best advice, though, is to forego Tulips this year, and stay away from bulb beds altogether,” he says.
For more information on Tulip-Related Illness, please consult The Department of Well-Being and Safety pamphlet, “What you should know about Tulip-Related Illness.”