Third anthrax infection identified in Glasgow

A heroin user has been identified as the third case of anthrax infection in Glasgow, Scotland by health officials.

The male patient is currently listed in critical condition in the city's Royal Infirmary. Another patient at Royal Infirmary is also being tested for an anthrax infection.

This third case of anthrax follows positive tests by a man and a woman at Glasgow's Victoria Infirmary. The man died on December 16.

Police and health officials believe that the source of the anthrax is either contaminated heroin or a contaminated cutting agent used on the heroin.

A consultant in public health medicine has urged all drug users who inject heroin to be on alert for anthrax infections and to seek medical advice if they contract the infection.

The consultant noted that while those who inject heroin need to be on guard against the infection, the rest of the population, including family members of the infected case, should not fear an infection.

Anthrax infects humans normally through inhalation or ingestion of anthrax spores and cannot be passed from person to person.

The last death in Scotland from anthrax was 50-year-old Stobs resident Christopher Norris, a drum maker, who died after inhaling anthrax spores, possibly from untreated animal hides, in 2006.