A drug user has died after being infected with anthrax, public health experts in Kent have said.
The Health Protection Agency said a person who injected heroin had died in Medway. Earlier this year, two drug users died in Blackpool after contracting the bacterial infection.
There has been a small outbreak of cases in Europe, with 13 cases identified by health officials since early June. Six of the cases have occurred in the UK, including four in England, one in Scotland and one in Wales.
The HPA said the source of the infection is presumed to be contaminated heroin. It said it was “unclear” whether the British cases are linked to the European outbreak which has affected drug users in Denmark, Germany and France.
Dr James Sedgwick, interim director of the HPA’s Kent Health Protection Unit, said: “In light of this recent case in Medway, we have advised local agencies to talk to their service users who inject drugs about the risk of anthrax infection.”
19 December 2012