'Rising threat to humans from bovine TB' warns doctor
More than 20 young British men and women have been infected with potentially fatal bovine tuberculosis as a specialist warned that unless TB is brought under control in wildlife, many more people could be at risk.
Badgers are being culled in Gloucestershire and Somerset to try to reduce the spread of the disease in cattle.
But The Times said official figures show a sharp increase in recorded infections - although it is not known if that is down to better detection or a rise in the disease.
Professor Peter Davies, consultant physician at Liverpool Heart and Chest hospital, told the paper: "There have been cases in which pets and humans have been infected with the same strain (as bovine TB). One possible explanation is that there is more transmission from wildlife to humans."
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Traditionally most people who get bovine TB have been older people who drank unpasteurised milk in their childhoods but the paper said Dianne Summers caught it from her herd of alpacas.
There have been 23 people under the age of 45 who have caught the disease between 2005 and 2012. From 2000 to 2005, there were five under 35.