Feeds

London anthrax case man 'seriously ill'

Imported drum skins likely source of infection

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

A London-based drum-maker who apparently contracted anthrax from imported animal skins is in a "serious but stable" condition in Hackney's Homerton Hospital, the Hackney Gazette reports.

The unnamed victim, said to be Spanish by the Gazette, was diagnosed with the disease on Saturday, and samples were sent to the Porton Down chemical weapons lab for analysis. While health chiefs have stressed there is "no risk to the public", experts from the laboratory will next week enter the workshop to assess the premises for possible decontamination.

Professor Nigel Lightfoot, Chief Advisor at the Health Protection Agency, said: "This patient makes and then plays animal skin drums for a living. It is through making these drums that exposure to and inhalation of anthrax spores on an imported animal hide has taken place. The risk to others who play these drums is very low. It is the process of removing the animal hairs during the making of drums that can put people at risk."

Back in 2006, 50-year-old Christopher Norris from the Scottish Borders died of the disease after "playing or handling West African drums". An enquiry concluded that he'd succumbed to inhalation anthrax - the first such case seen in the UK for over a century.

Anthrax is caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis - commonly seen in cattle, sheep and goats. Infected animals can pass it to humans, but it is not transmitted between people. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.