Glasgow & West Scotland

Two more botulism cases in Glasgow and Lanarkshire

Man injecting heroin Image copyright SPL
Image caption Officials advised drug users to seek urgent medical attention if they show early symptoms

Two further probable cases of botulism are being investigated by health officials in the west of Scotland.

One patient is from the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area while the second is from Lanarkshire.

Both are receiving hospital treatment in Glasgow and are in serious conditions.

It takes the total number of cases currently in Glasgow hospitals to four. The source of those infections is contaminated heroin.

NHS Forth Valley is also treating a confirmed case in one of its hospitals.

'Extremely alert'

Dr Catriona Milosevic, consultant in public heath medicine at NHSGGC, said: "I urge all drug injecting heroin users to be extremely alert and to seek urgent medical attention from accident and emergency if they experience any early symptoms such as blurred or double vision, difficulty in swallowing and speaking and/or inflammation at the injection site.

"It is important for injecting drug users to engage with the wide range of services we offer designed to help them tackle their addictions, including help from pharmacies and drug services.

"However for those who continue to inject it is extremely important that they seek urgent medical help if they show these early symptoms."

She added: "Heroin users should avoid injecting heroin into their muscles. Injecting heroin into a vein or smoking can reduce the risk of botulism, although not using heroin at all is by far the best course of action."

The health board said Police Scotland was aware of the new cases and inquiries were continuing.

Botulism is caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which attacks the nervous system.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites