Fernando Gomez, aged 35, lived in Hackney, East London and owned a drum-making workshop.
He worked with animal skins most of the times and nothing had gone wrong up until a couple of weeks ago. He was handling some imported animal skins, probably of African origin, and he inhaled anthrax spores.
He became severely ill and was hospitalised at the Intensive Care Unit of Homerton University Hospital for more than seven days, but he could not be saved. He died on Sunday evening.
Hospital representatives have told the press the man died from inhalation of anthrax spores and that several other persons are under medical observation and antibiotics treatment, just out of precaution.
There is no certain information as to the origin of the skins, but the Health Protection Agency will thoroughly examine the victim’s apartment and workshop.
Professor Nigel Lightfoot, chief adviser of the HPA, advised there was no danger of contamination for the victim’s neighbours, and that the risk comes from handling imported animal skins without any kind of protection.
This post was written by Dana Ciucalau on November 3, 2008
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