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Mum seeks answers to TB infection

THE mother of a young TB victim is angry over the lack of information available to her about the source of her daughter’s illness.

Donna Jones’ four year old daughter was diagnosed last year with Atypical TB. She has since been unable to find out anything more about the likely cause than it has an ‘environmental source’.

This news comes in the same week the Government announced the number of TB cases in England, Wales and Northern Ireland had risen to over 7,000 a year - the highest since the 1980s.

In October 2005 Donna Jones’ daughter Emma developed two lumps on her neck which on first examination doctors believed were caused by a glandular problem. The lumps on Emma’s neck later burst and a consultant paediatrician from the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital diagnosed her as suffering from Atypical TB.

Emma was prescribed a course of two separate antibiotics to take for six months.

Donna’s distress over her daughter’s illness is borne out of her frustration at not being able to find what causes the illness, and how and why her daughter contracted it when her three other children have remained unaffected.

“All anyone will tell us is that she may have caught it from wildlife, I’ve asked the local vets and they say they don’t know anything about it but I want to know where, how and what she has caught it from,” said Donna, who lives in Kerry.

“I’m annoyed I cannot find the information I want. I want to know where she has caught it from and how come my three other children haven’t been affected,” she said.

“There is no information saying if she should be in school, there is no information on how she can contract it, I want the truth and some honest answers.”

Donna quizzed Emma’s consultant paediatrician and local GPs on the infection but says they only confirm the illness has an environmental source.

A spokesman for the National Public Health Service said: “There is no such condition as Atypical TB, it is a mycobacterial infection which can cause a whole range of infections some of which are TB.”

He said that mycobacterial infections are usually acquired from the environment but transmission can occur from animals to humans although it is not common.

County times 30 March 2006


email to warmwell

received April 2 2006

Dear Mary,

This is winding up into something very nasty. We were told about the problem last autumn, but the newspapers / media had very little on it. Local vets and farmers knew and fed us bits. This (below) was published 30th. March, and our source has now had another conversation with SVS vets and private vets in the area.

In the late 1990's just a couple of farms were under bTb restriction, but that has now surged to become 30/40. Dead badgers found in the area, including one on school playing fields.

This carcass was taken to test for 'poison'. but HSE stepped in and stopped the postmortem - inadequate Group 3 pathogen facilities (?).

It was riddled.

SVS sent letters to Welsh Assembly / Page St. and they were lost stolen or strayed. The whole episode was buried. Page St. wanted absolutely no positive Tb badgers.

In the last 3/4 years eight or nine children, not including this little one, have had treatment for enlarged neck glands. This involved either a 6 month course of antibiotics, or operations to remove. Classic m.bovis lesions I'm told (by a vet) but referred euphemistically by doctors as "Atypical tuberculosis from a non human source". They are telling these kids, that they picked it up from the ground.

The badgers use the school playing fields as latrines, and a newish housing estate borders the same farmland too.

We're ignoring those canaries again. (reactor cows)

I'll keep in touch...


ps. Good article in FG this week re PCR and diagnosis of 'infected setts' from uninfected. Warwick have tried it out.