Injection Anthrax

illustration showing needle inserted into skin and anthrax spores traveling in bloodstream

Recently, another type of anthrax infection has been identified in heroin-injecting drug users in northern Europe. This type of infection has never been reported in the United States.

Symptoms may be similar to those of cutaneous anthrax, but there may be infection deep under the skin or in the muscle where the drug was injected. Injection anthrax can spread throughout the body faster and be harder to recognize and treat. Lots of other more common bacteria can cause skin and injection site infections, so a skin or injection site infection in a drug user does not necessarily mean the person has anthrax.