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Nurse infected with bovine TB

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A veterinary nurse has become infected with a form of tuberculosis usually only found in animals.

The woman, along with her dog, contracted Bovine TB in Cornwall after testing cattle for the disease. The incident has prompted an investigation from the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Defra said it hopes the inquiry will determine whether the nurse was infected by her dog or vice-versa. The department added that it believed the incident was isolated and the controls they had in place were effective.

‘Risks to human health are minimised through regular testing of cattle herds and early removal of test reactors, slaughterhouse inspections and controls on meat,’ it said ni a statement.

Cases of cross-species infection are extremely rare and the Health Protection Agency has moved to allay any fears. An agency spokesperson said: ‘The current risk posed by bovine TB to human health in the UK is negligible.’

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