Anthrax has been found in two heroin users from Glasgow - one of whom has died in hospital.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said the man died in the city's Victoria Infirmary on Wednesday. A woman being treated there has also tested
A second man with "serious soft tissue infections" is being tested at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
Police believe contaminated heroin or a contaminated cutting agent may be responsible for the infections.
Dr Syed Ahmed, consultant in public health medicine, said: "I urge all drug injecting heroin users to be extremely alert and to seek urgent medical
advice if they experienced an infection.
"While this section of the community need to be on their guard the risk to the rest of the population - including close family members of the
infected cases - is negligible.
"It is extremely rare for anthrax to be spread from person to person and there is no significant risk of airborne transmission from one person to
The health board said it would investigate cases of drug injecting heroin users who presents with serious soft tissue infections now or during the
last four weeks.
Anthrax is an acute bacterial infection most commonly found in hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep and goats.
It normally infects humans when they inhale or ingest anthrax spores, but cannot be passed from person to person.
The last death from anthrax in Scotland was in 2006 when Christopher Norris died after inhaling the spores.
The 50-year-old craftsman, from Stobs, near Hawick, made drums with materials such as untreated animal hides.
Last November, drum-maker Fernando Gomez, who is thought to have inhaled anthrax spores while handling imported animal skins, died in hospital in
The 35-year-old Spanish folk musician had been in the intensive care unit for several days.
Five people died and 17 others were ill in a series of anthrax attacks in the US in 2001.
BBC NEWS - Anthrax Found
[edit on 17-12-2009 by TSOM87]