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Dog may have given girl TB

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 31, 2014

NHS
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A youngster from Gloucestershire may have been infected with TB by a dog, health experts have said.

The revelation follows news that a teenager developed pneumonia and was rushed to hospital for treatment for severe lung damage after she contracted tuberculosis from her pet kitten.

The girl had to have emergency surgery after she caught TB in what health officials say is among the first cases in the world of humans picking up the disease from cats.

Her mother contracted a dormant form of the disease.

In the Gloucestershire case, a child aged under 10 developed a latent form of the disease last year after the family dog fell ill.

The victim managed to make a full recovery but vets were forced to destroy the dog after screening the family last year.

If confirmed it would be the first ever case of its kind in the UK, Public Health England said.

But a spokesman added that it was "scientifically impossible" to prove whether the dormant form of TB contracted by the child had come from the dog or another source.

The spokesman said: "A family in Gloucestershire were tested for tuberculosis (TB) last year after their pet dog was confirmed with the bovine form of the infection.

"Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) is a bacterium that causes bovine TB in cattle and although the organism can infect and cause TB in humans, the risk of infection for the general public is very low.

"Human TB caused by M. bovis accounts for less than one per cent of the total TB cases in the UK and it is usually those who work closely with livestock and/or regularly drink unpasteurised (raw) milk who have a higher risk of catching the infection.

"The family is known to have connections to a veterinary practice and this was investigated as a potential source of infection.

"Public Health England offered TB screening to the family as a precautionary measure.

"This case differs from that of human TB infection from cats because there two people involved developed active TB with cat-to-human transmission."

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