Here is a news article on another recent fatality from anthrax in an Injecting Drug User in the UK, following on from an anthrax outbreak in Injecting Drug Users last year, likely to be due to a contaminated “batch” of heroin.
There are very few Injecting Drug Users here in New Zealand. However when I worked in Glasgow, their numbers were in the thousands. Whilst working in Glasgow, I was “fortunate” in seeing a range of interesting infections related to injecting drug use, such as wound botulism, tetanus and anthrax. There was also a steady trickle of right sided endocarditis caused by Staphylococcus aureus.
The Injecting Drug Users that I have met and spoke to during the course of my work covered a range of personality types. Some managed to hold down well paid jobs, some were polite and well spoken and did not give any outward impression of having an Injecting Drug Habit.
The one thing that all of them had in common was that they had an interesting story to tell. Their lifestyles may have at times been chaotic, but never dull or boring. I always have had great interest in their life stories and what triggered their drug habit.
To some extent I miss encountering Injecting Drug Users in my current position in New Zealand. Not condoning drug use in any way, shape or form, the Injecting Drug Use cohort of people are an interesting bunch, and they often produce some very exotic microbiology….
Click here for the CDC laboratory testing algorhythm for anthrax