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German Meat Worker Catches Anthrax

A worker in a German meat factory has come down with the potentially fatal disease anthrax, but authorities said it had not come from the plant's meat.

Bacillus anthracis spores are pictured in this undated photomicrograph

Anthrax can be a deadly disease

The man, a French national who commutes across the border to work in the German city of Saarbruecken, had been infected on a farm in the French region of Lorraine, health officials said on Thurs., Dec. 11. He was under treatment.

The Saarland state health ministry and the meat company added that they had checked the hygienic clothing he wore while handling meat and found no spores of anthrax. Disease experts said it was highly unlikely he had passed anthrax to the meat.

"He wore a gloves, disposable plastic cuffs reaching from his wrists to his elbows and a long-armed smock while he was working," said state Health Minister Gerhard Vigener.

Two others also infected

The worker and two other Frenchmen living near Metz came down with anthrax at the end of November. Anthrax was diagnosed on December 4.

Anthrax is caused by the Bacillus anthracis germ and is now very rare in Europe.

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