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International Network of People who Use Drugs. (2012) Anthrax warning! Information for heroin users. INPUD, New South Wales.

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Anthrax is a bacterium, which creates spores that can infect the body, producing lethal poisons and causing death.

Anthrax releases three factors: lethal factor (LF), edema factor (EF) and protective antigen (PA). PA and LF form a lethal toxin, which kills macrophages and inhibits B-cell and T-cell function so minimising the immune response to anthrax. Anthrax spores are highly resistant to adverse conditions. It will survive boiling, organic solvents such as ethanol, and high variations of pH.

Anthrax infection among heroin users is most likely to be acquired through:
• Injection - Spores entering the bloodstream, skin or tissues under the skin (such as fat or muscle) via injection of contaminated heroin.
• Inhalation - Smoking/chasing/snorting: Breathing in spores while smoking or snorting contaminated heroin.

WARNING: The PDF information leaflet contains graphic medical images.


Item Type:Other
Date:November 2012
Publisher:INPUD
Corporate Creators:International Network of People who Use Drugs
Place of Publication:New South Wales
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Electronic Only)
Related URLs:
Subjects:B Substances > Opioids (opiates) > Heroin
G Health and disease > State of health > Physical health
G Health and disease > Pathologic process > Inflammation or infection
G Health and disease > Disorder by cause > Communicable disease > Bacterial disease
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health related prevention > Health information and education > Communicable disease control
P Demography, epidemiology, and history > Population dynamics > Substance related mortality / death
T Demographic characteristics > Intravenous / injecting drug user

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