Dead Glasgow drug user tests positive for anthrax

A deceased drug user in Glasgow, Scotland, tested positive for anthrax in what the U.K. National Health Service is calling an isolated case.

Health officials with the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said the anthrax infection may have resulted from contaminated heroin or cutting agent. Police and health officials are working together to determine the source of the contamination, BBC reports.

"This is an isolated case in Glasgow and there have been other sporadic cases in the U.K. and Europe in recent months," Syed Ahmed, a public health consultant, said, according to BBC. "We are working with other services and colleagues to be on the lookout for any other possible cases, especially amongst other injecting drug users."

Police Superintendent Grahame Clarke said that while people might have concerns about coming forward with drug-related information to police, anyone, particularly drug users, should come forth with any information that could help officials trace the source of the anthrax.

Between 2009 and 2010, Scotland recorded 119 cases of anthrax and 14 deaths among drug users.

Anthrax is an acute bacterial infection most often found in hoofed animals which can infect humans when they inhale or ingest anthrax spores. Symptoms include a raised, itchy, inflamed pimple that turns into a swollen blister. If left untreated, the infection can cause blood poisoning, BBC reports.