An injecting heroin user from Oslo, Norway contracted botulism, according to a Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) report last week (computer translated).


Health officials say the patient developed symptoms on 12/26/2014 and is hospitalized. They warn that heroin in the Oslo area may be contaminated, and if true, one can expect that more become ill.

There are no reports of additional suspected cases so far.

This reported case actually took place before the five cases being reported out of Scotland this year.

The NIPH says substance abusers and healthcare professionals who are in contact with abusers must be aware of the possibility that heroin circulating in the Oslo area may be contaminated with botulism spores. It is thus necessary to have attention on botulism symptoms in injecting drug users.

Oslo has informed OOH and relevant institutions which are in contact with abusers to inform users about the danger of botulism heroin injection, and to be aware of symptoms in users.

In the Fall of 2013, an outbreak with four confirmed and three probable cases of wound botulism among drug users in Oslo and Vestfold was reported. It has previously been reported clusters of cases of wound botulism in Norway and other European countries, including England, Germany, Switzerland and Ireland.

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