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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 November 2006, 17:57 GMT
House sealed off in anthrax probe
Pascal Norris
Christopher Norris from Hawick died earlier this year
A house in Smailholm in the Scottish Borders has been sealed off by scientists investigating the anthrax death of a drum maker in the region.

Pascal Norris, from Stobs, near Hawick, died in July with tests showing the disease was the most likely cause.

Traces of anthrax were found on animal skins used in drum making at a Northumberland property last month.

Further inquiries led experts to the Smailholm property. Experts said there was "no increased risk to the public".

It is thought that Mr Norris contracted anthrax from animal skins he used to make drums.

NHS Borders, Health Protection Scotland and the Health Protection Agency have been investigating the death.

Further traces

They confirmed that tests carried out on a "wide range of material" taken from Black Lodge proved negative with tests still under way on other material.

However, following confirmation on 12 October of traces of anthrax found on skins and drums at the property in Northumberland, officials said further traces have been found at the property.

They said they were continuing their investigation there and at the Smailholm property, near Kelso.

Specialist teams wearing protective clothing have been taking samples from the house, which belongs to a woman who runs African drum playing classes.

A spokesman for the agencies said: "Expert advice is clear that this additional finding does not alter the previous statement that there is no increased risk to the public."

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