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Update on Drug Injecting Heroin User Anthrax Cases

December 18, 2009 5:09 PM

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Investigations into the presence of anthrax in infections sustained by drug injecting heroin users in Glasgow are ongoing.

At this afternoon’s meeting of the Outbreak Control Team (OCT) it was confirmed that Public Health specialists, and other healthcare professionals, across the country are continuing to review recent cases of injecting drug users who presented with soft tissue infections or other conditions. So far no new potential cases have been found.

Dr Syed Ahmed, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, said: “Drug injecting is extremely risky and dangerous. The health service deals continually with people who have suffered very serious infections due to dirty needles or contaminated drugs.

“The possible presence of a batch of heroin contaminated with anthrax makes drug injecting even riskier and even more dangerous.

“Once again, I urge injecting drug users to be on their guard and to seek urgent medical advice if they have experienced an infection or other serious symptoms”.

The OCT was also told that the female patient confirmed with the presence of anthrax and undergoing treatment at the Victoria Infirmary remained stable. The male patient undergoing intensive care at Glasgow Royal Infirmary also remains stable.

The post mortem results on the man who died at the Victoria Infirmary on 16 December are expected next week.


Notes to Editors

The Outbreak Control Team will meet again on the afternoon of Monday, 21 December and, unless there are any significant developments in the interim, a further media statement will be issued thereafter.

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Last Updated: 06 February 2015