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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Bagpipes. Old & Busted: acquired taste; New Hotness: your bagpipes want to kill you

    Bagpipe warning over threat of fatal fungus (scotsman.com)
    WARNING: your bagpipes may kill you. Leading piping organisations have issued a hygiene alert after a piper was hospitalised for four weeks having contracted a potentially fatal lung infection… from his bagpipes.
    But 77-year-old John Shone’s love of Scotland’s national instrument was sorely tested after he inhaled fungal spores which had colonised his bagpipes.
    Shone, a former committee member of the Piobaireachd Society, was preparing to play at a special event in September when he fell ill during a fishing trip to Scotland. He was forced to return to his Wiltshire home.

    His GP prescribed antibiotics but they did not work and he was admitted to hospital. Two days later, he was sent home, but a week later his health deteriorated rapidly and he was quickly readmitted to hospital.

    As he lay in a critical condition, doctors were mystified by the cause of his illness and struggled in vain for more than a week to cure him using a variety of antibiotics.
    It was only after a consultant questioned him about his hobbies that a possible cause was found.

    Shone’s son was then asked to bring his father’s bagpipes into the hospital for tests. Pathologists there discovered a heavy growth of fungal cultures lurking inside, enabling doctors to prescribe an effective treatment.
    much more at the link

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Palm Springs
    I love bagpipes (particularly out of doors)! But I wonder how many pipers died because doctors did NOT find the fungal spores in the pipes...

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