The Park has seen its first case of Small Ball Fever this year.
In a statement issued this morning, a spokesAnimal for The Park Hospital for the Afflicted and Infirm said the hospital “is confirming the first case of Small Ball Fever (SBF) in 2015.”
According to Hermione Hippo, the hospital’s head nurse and Assistant Professor at the University of West Terrier’s School of Medicine, the hospital expects to see a resurgence of the disease this year.
Hippo, who will be delivering a lecture on Small Ball Fever at the university next week, said in an interview on Mammalian Daily Radio (TMD Radio) that The Park was “spared” for a while due to June’s heavy rainfall.
“For a while, it looked as though we might escape any incidence of SBF this year. Last year, we experienced the lowest incidence of any year since 2005, when we started gathering statistics. But the surge in temperatures has brought out an almost record number of small balls,” she said.
Hippo also confirmed that the hospital has hired a ball watcher as well as a ball catcher for the Summer months.
“With the sudden rise in temperatures, we were seeing small balls entering The Park from every direction and we needed a lot of help keeping up with them. We are storing them in a safe, temperature-controlled room at the hospital and we intend to return them at some point later in the Autumn,” she said.
Small Ball Fever occurs because small balls, which are better known outside The Park as “golf” balls, harbour the deadly Small Ball Fever virus inside their dimpled surface. The SBF virus is spread when it leaks through cracks in the ball’s surface and makes contact with mucosa in the mouth or nose. Symptoms include extremely high fever, chills, aching muscles, and, eventually, pulmonary dysfunction. All Animals are at risk of developing Small Ball Fever but some groups of Animals, including Squirrels, Donkeys, the elderly, and the infirm, are at particular risk.
The Department of Well-Being and Safety has issued a Small Ball Fever warning, as well, advising Animals who think they may be experiencing any of the above symptoms to report immediately to the hospital. It has also directed all Animals to its online pamphlet, “What you should know about Small Ball Fever.”