Intended for healthcare professionals


UK heroin deaths prompt international alert

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 10 June 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1559
  1. Bryan Christie
  1. Edinburgh

    A new type of infective agent linked to contaminated heroin supplies might have caused the deaths of 22 drug users in Scotland and Ireland. Since the first case was reported on 9 May, some 46people have been infected by the unidentified illness, which is being investigated by an international collaboration of public health analysts.

    Screening for known causes of infection has failed to find a common source, and doctors fear that they are facing something entirely new. The pattern of infection, which has so far produced 31 cases and 14 deaths in Glasgow, seems identical to the 15 cases and eight fatalities reported in Dublin.

    Dr Laurence Gruer, a Glasgow public health consultant who is coordinating the …

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