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As of 28 October 2013, six cases of wound botulism have been reported in Norway among people who had injected heroin (most reported intramuscular injection of heroin). They all reside in the Oslo area or in neighbouring municipalities.


The source of infection is thought to be a batch of contaminated heroin. The geographical distribution of the potentially contaminated heroin is unknown at this time, as is the distribution stage at which the heroin may have been contaminated.


So far, no cases of botulism in heroin users in Belgium have been reported.

Also, there are no indications that this contaminated batch of heroin is present on the Belgian market.


Guidance on drug treatment and prevention and control of infections among people who inject drugs has recently been issued by ECDC and the EMCDDA. The two agencies will continue to monitor the evolution of this situation in terms of the epidemiological information available. More information is available on the ECDC website and in this rapid risk assessment. Prevention and control guidelines are available in this document.

Last modified at 15/11/2013 03:07 by Blanckaert, Peter