BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Scotland  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 20 November, 2002, 14:33 GMT
'Rabies' victim test results due
David McRae
David McRae is seriously ill in hospital
The results of tests are due on a 56-year-old man who is being treated for the symptoms of rabies in a Scottish hospital.

David McRae, from Guthrie, in Angus, is believed to have been infected when he was bitten by a Daubenton's bat and remains in a critical condition at Ninewells hospital in Dundee.

Doctors believe the animal lover and artist may have been infected by the strain of rabies European Bat Lyssavirus (EBL).

Rabies is a serious infection of the nervous system that is caused by a virus which is usually transmitted by a bite from an infected animal.

Ninewells entrance
Doctors are awaiting test results
Mr McRae may have been bitten months ago as the disease is slow to incubate.

If it emerges that the father-of-two does have rabies, he will be the first Briton to contract the infection in the UK for 100 years.

Medical experts are warning that if blood, saliva and skin biopsy tests prove positive, Mr McRae has no chance of survival.

Neighbours have spoken of their shock after discovering that he was critically ill in hospital.

One man, who did not wish to be named, said: "We couldn't believe it when we heard. It just doesn't seem real in this day and age.

Public advice

"He keeps himself pretty much to himself but we know that he is really into working with bats and doing conservation work."

Mr McRae is a close friend of the mountaineer and Mount Everest conqueror Doug Scott.

In 1995 he accompanied Mr Scott on an expedition to Papua New Guinea, where he painted watercolour images of the landscapes.

Guthrie
Neighours in Guthrie are shocked
Some of these are displayed, alongside his many pictures of animals, including bats, on a the Gatley Gallery website - http://www.gatley.demon.co.uk/cat_david.htm

Meanwhile, the conservation body Scottish Natural Heritage has instructed all of its workers to avoid contact with bats until the case is fully investigated.

The public are also being warned not to be alarmed as only those who handle bats or have been bitten or scratched would be at risk.

The Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) said it was extremely concerned for the welfare of Mr McRae.

Amy Coyte, joint chief executive of the BCT, said: "We have known for many years that certain bat species found in EBL - this is a rabies-related virus, but not classical (sylvatic) rabies.

"People across the continent live with these bats quite happily because they are aware of EBL and take appropriate precautions."

An NHS Helpline 0800 783 5066 - has been set up in Tayside to offer reassurance and advice.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Alan Mackay reports
"People who know Mr McRae are very shocked"
Amy Coyte, Bat Conservation Trust
"There have been two cases only of bats with rabies"
See also:

19 Nov 02 | Scotland
19 Nov 02 | Scotland
19 Nov 02 | Scotland
19 Nov 02 | Scotland
02 Oct 02 | UK
28 Sep 02 | England
07 Mar 00 | Health
21 May 99 | Health
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes