A man gets an infection from bagpipes.
Can musical instruments pose a health risk?
A 78-year-old English bagpipe player encountered a nearly fatal infection after a fungus grew in his instrument.
John Shone is working his way to a full recovery but he wants to warn other players to frequently disinfect their bagpipes. He has played since adolescence, but opted not to clean his instrument for 18 months, because the tune was perfect and the sound from bagpipes is known to change with the slightest environment change.
Doctors were forced to look into Shone’s hobbies when he was hospitalized for several weeks straight. The infection caused him to weaken and lose a lot of weight.
When medical staff learned Stone was a bagpipe player, the instrument was tested and the potentially life-threatening fungus was discovered.
Several years back, a trombone player, Scott Bean encountered constant heath problems including a sore throat, barking cough, a low-grade fever and weight loss. After more than a decade, Bean went on vacation without his instrument and noticed his symptoms took a turn for the better.
Doctors later realized bacteria in the instrument were causing Bean’s medical issues.