- Anthrax has recently been identified in heroin users in Scotland (and Germany)
- Caused by Bacillus anthracis (fatal if bacteraemic or meningeal involvement)
- Seem with both IV use and smoking heroin
- No cases yet in Ireland - please contact HPSC if any suspicion
If the person injecting:
- Swelling & redness at injection site (± painful)
- Abscess or ulcer at an injection site
- Fever, headache or nausea.
If smoking heroin:
- 'Flu like illness (fever, headache, myalgia, cough)
- Sudden death, esp. if extensive skin lesions
Anthrax is not a risk for those who had normal family and social or medical contact with people who have developed anthrax.