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British anthrax death sparks outbreak concern

Published on Aug 17, 2012 9:57 PM

LONDON (REUTERS) - A British drug user has died from anthrax, health authorities said on Friday, triggering concerns a European outbreak of the rare infection among people who inject heroin may be worsening.

The user was possibly infected by contaminated heroin and there were at least seven other similar cases across Europe, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said in a statement.

"It's likely that further cases... will be identified as part of the ongoing outbreak in EU countries," said the HPA's Dilys Morgan.

The HPA, set up to guard against infectious diseases and environmental hazards, said anthrax in drug users was very rare.

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