Case of anthrax reported in Lanarkshire

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A man is reported to be in a serious condition after contracting anthrax, according to NHS Lanarkshire

The man is believed to be a drug addict who is an intravenous user.  There are suspicions that the man was infected through using contaminated drugs.

A similar batch of contaminated heroin led to the death of six people man and the hospitalisation of others in December 2010.  The outbreak began in Glasgow, but spread to Dundee and Fife.

In 2000, 43 people died after an outbreak that lasted six weeks.

Symptoms or signs of infection can begin with a red spot at the point of injection that quickly turns black.

Anthrax is carried by many animals in Afghanistan, from where most of Scotland’s heroin originates. Although it can be deadly, it is very rare for it to be spread from person to person.

There are three forms of the human disease — cutaneous (skin), inhalation and ingestion — and in 95% of cases the infection is skin-based.