Page last updated at 16:50 GMT, Monday, 21 December 2009

Tests confirm third anthrax case

Anthrax virus
Anthrax is a bacterial infection usually found in hoofed animals

Health officials have confirmed that anthrax has been found in a third heroin user in Glasgow.

The male patient is in a critical condition in the city's Royal Infirmary. Another patient there is also being tested for the infection.

A man and woman in the city's Victoria Infirmary tested positive for anthrax last week. The man died on 16 December.

Police and health officials believe contaminated heroin or a contaminated cutting agent may be responsible.

Dr Syed Ahmed, consultant in public health medicine, said: "I urge all drug injecting heroin users to be extremely alert and to seek urgent medical advice if they experienced an infection.

"Drug injecting is extremely risky and dangerous. The possible presence of a batch of heroin contaminated with anthrax makes drug injecting even riskier and even more dangerous.

Public vigilance

"While this section of the community need to be on their guard the risk to the rest of the population - including close family members of the infected cases - is negligible."

Anthrax is an acute bacterial infection most commonly found in hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep and goats.

It normally infects humans when they inhale or ingest anthrax spores, but cannot be passed from person to person.

The last previous death from anthrax in Scotland was in 2006 when Christopher Norris died after inhaling the spores.

The 50-year-old craftsman, from Stobs, near Hawick, made drums with materials such as untreated animal hides.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
'No new cases' in anthrax scare
18 Dec 09 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Anthrax found in two heroin users
18 Dec 09 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Man dies from 'rare anthrax bug'
16 Aug 06 |  South of Scotland
Drum skin plea at anthrax inquiry
18 Nov 08 |  South of Scotland
Anthrax import tests 'difficult'
25 Nov 08 |  South of Scotland
'Freak' factors in anthrax death
05 Feb 09 |  South of Scotland
Britain's 'Anthrax Island'
25 Jul 01 |  Scotland

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific