Scottish drug users warned after anthrax death in Glasgow

Scottish health officials in East Renfrewshire and Barrhead warned drug users to exercise care after the death of an injecting heroin user who tested positive for deadly anthrax.

The Public Health Protection Unit is working with the Strathclyde Police to determine the source of the infection. The anthrax death may be the result of contaminated heroin or a contaminated cutting agent mixed with the heroin, reports.

National Health Service Greater Glasgow and Clyde confirmed the incident earlier in March and said the case was an isolated one. Between 2009 and 2010, the worst United Kingdom outbreak of anthrax in 50 years occurred among drug users in Scotland. There were 119 recorded cases in all and 14 deaths, according to BBC.

"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."

Ahmed said that drug injecting was extremely dangerous and he urged all heroin users to seek immediate medical attention if an infection occurs at the injection site, BBC reports.