Published Date: 2012-09-15 20:26:24
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Anthrax - Germany (09): (Berlin) New case in addict
Archive Number: 20120915.1295856
ANTHRAX, GERMANY (09): (BERLIN) NEW CASE IN ADDICT
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: September 14, 2012
Source: Robert Koch Institute [edited]
4th case of anthrax in heroin user (Berlin)
The Robert Koch Institute [RKI] in Berlin was notified of a 4th case of anthrax in a person after intravenous heroin use. Thus, since the beginning of June 2012, there are [now] 4 confirmed cases of anthrax in heroin users in different states (2 in the Regensburg area, 2 in Berlin).
In mid-September the patient saw a doctor because of soft tissue infection in the area of the injection site. The preliminary laboratory diagnosis of anthrax was confirmed by the RKI using real-time PCR on (wound) tissue samples.
The fact that the anthrax strains that were isolated from the first 3 anthrax cases in 2012 are similar or at least very closely related to the strains of the German and British cases of the years 2009/2010, suggests that the same source of infection might still be active.
Health authorities and drug services throughout Germany were alerted so that in similar cases infection with anthrax should be considered, and diagnosis and therapy can be performed in due time.
For the treatment of infection with anthrax effective antibiotics are available. The infection is practically not transferable from person to person, [so] there is no risk for the general population. In case of suspicion, the RKI offers support for the investigation of clinical material or potential sources of infection as well as for the exclusion of _B. anthracis_. In addition, the RKI can also advise how to obtain and dispatch samples.
Contact person: PD Dr. Grunow at the Center for Biological Safety (ZBS) at the RKI (Phone: 030 18 754 2100).
Contact at RKI is Dr. Bernard (Tel. 030 18 754 3173).
Communicated & translated by
Sabine Zentis <email@example.com>
Castleview English Longhorns
[Our heartfelt thanks to Sabine for finding this RKI news release prior to any news report and for the excellent translation.
The continuing cases of heroin-associated injection-anthrax are puzzling. Logic would expect an explosion of cases in a coherent area corresponding to the sales of a batch of such heroin by various dealers. But instead we are getting them trickling out, spatially scattered, and with delays. This suggests that the contamination sufficient for infection is almost random. - Mod MHJ]