A drug user has died in a Lancashire hospital after being infected with anthrax, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has said
The HPA said the person, who died in Blackpool, had injected drugs.
The death comes amid an outbreak of anthrax among people who inject drugs in a number of European countries.
NHS Blackpool said heroin, or a contaminated cutting agent mixed with it, was the likely source of infection.
It said the death had similarities to 19 cases in Scotland.
But the HPA said it was "unclear" whether the case in Blackpool and another case in Scotland - which was confirmed at the end of July - were linked to the European outbreak.
Dr Dilys Morgan, an expert at the HPA, said: "It's likely that further cases among PWID (people who inject drugs) will be identified as part of the ongoing outbreak in EU countries."
Anthrax is an acute bacterial infection most commonly found in hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep and goats.
It normally infects humans when they inhale or ingest anthrax spores, but cannot be passed from person to person.
There have been seven confirmed cases of the infection since June - one in Scotland, three in Germany, two in Denmark, and one in France.
These are the first cases of anthrax among drug users in Europe since an outbreak in 2009-10 which saw 119 cases in Scotland, five in England and two in Germany.
Although the two outbreaks have not officially been linked, European health experts said the recent cases could have come from the same batch of contaminated heroin in the 2009-2010 outbreak.
James Gallagher, Health and Science reporter
Anthrax is a very rare and very deadly bacterial infection caused by Bacillus anthracis.
It can exist as spores, meaning it can hide for long periods of time in the environment before infecting somebody.
There has been an outbreak in heroin users across northern Europe with cases in Germany, Denmark, France and the UK.
The theory is that a batch of heroin has been contaminated with anthrax spores.
This would cause infection when the drug was injected, smoked, or snorted.
Anthrax can be treated with antibiotics, however, treatment needs to start early.
Many people will be familiar with anthrax for its potential as a biological weapon, however, it is extremely rare for anthrax to spread from person to person.
17 August 2012
BBC News Lancashire
Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.