A London drum maker died after inhaling anthrax spores while working on contaminated animal skins, a hospital said Monday.

Fernando Gomez, 35, died Sunday, a month after being exposed to spores from animal hides he used to make drums in his east London apartment, said Homerton University Hospital.

The hides apparently were imported from Africa. Anthrax is a potentially fatal disease caused by bacteria. It cannot be passed from human to human.

Inhalation of anthrax from natural sources such as animal skins and contaminated meat is rare in developed countries, but occurs regularly in poor ones.

In a similar case in February 2006, a New York City man contracted anthrax while making drums from untreated African animal hides but survived the disease.

In July of that year a British drum maker died after inhaling anthrax.