Two more anthrax cases in Scotland

Two more heroin addicts in Scotland are being treated for anthrax infections as part of an outbreak that has killed 10 drug users nationwide.

The victims are a man and a woman, both in their thirties. The man was admitted on February 28  to Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary and the woman on March 5.

The first victim of the anthrax infections, a 44-year-old Dumfries man, has been treated at that hospital for almost a month.

According to Hugh Robertson of the region's Integrated Drugs Service, speaking to, the newest victims share similarities with the other 26 confirmed cases in Scotland.

“The 44-year-old male victim and the 31-year-old female victim are known to the Integrated Drugs Service," Robertson said. "At some point in the past they have been in treatment for their drug use.

“This is the third case of anthrax seen in an injecting drug user in Dumfries since similar cases were first seen in Scotland in December 2009 and it wouldn’t surprise me if more cases were identified.”

Robertson noted that the number of heroin addicts seeking help from the drugs service in ending their addiction has risen sharply since the outbreak began.

“We usually deal with around three to four referrals a week. However we are now experiencing around ten a week which has been brought on by the latest anthrax scare,” Robertson said.