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Anthrax scare sparks government investigation

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The government’s infectious diseases watchdog has launched an investigation after a man was infected with anthrax spores from imported animal hides used for making drums.

A team from the Health Protection Agency will carry out testing at a the patient’s workshop in Hackney, East London.

They will wear protective clothing and use a handling tent outside the property to prevent the spread of bacteria. The man’s flat has also been secured.

Professor Nigel Lightfoot, chief advisor at the agency, said: If testing reveals the presence of anthrax spores then this information will be communicated to local residents and specialist cleaning will be carried out to remove any trace of anthrax from the property.’

The man is being treated at Homerton University Hospital and is in a critical condition.

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