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November 4, 2008

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Man dies after inhaling anthrax

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) is inspecting the home and workshop of a self-employed drum-maker who died after inhaling anthrax.

Fernando Gomez, 35, from Hackney, London, is thought to have inhaled the deadly spores while handling imported animal skins, which he was using to make drum kits.

The HPA is now trying to trace the origin of the animal skins and has sealed off access to Mr Gomez’s flat.

As a precautionary measure eight people who visited the workshop, where the animal skins were located, have been prescribed antibiotics.

But the HPA has stressed there is no risk to residents living in the same block of flats. A spokesperson for the organisation said: “We have stressed to all residents throughout this incident that there is no risk to their health as a result of the case of anthrax, or from the testing that will be carried out.

“We are, however, keen to reiterate to all individuals who make drums from imported animal skins that there is a risk of coming into contact with anthrax, and that they should ensure they are aware of this and take precautions to protect themselves when making these drums.”

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