16 KILLED BY POISONED HEROIN AS TOLL RISES; Health chiefs blame mystery bug in drugs.THE death toll of junkies believed killed by a batch of contaminated contaminated,
v 1. made radioactive by the addition of small quantities of radioactive material.
2. made contaminated by adding infective or radiographic materials.
3. an infective surface or object. heroin rose to 16 yesterday.
The latest victim was struck down by a mystery bug feared to be responsible for at least eight of the deaths.
Now a special task force set up by the Garda National Drugs Bureau fears the death toll could be even higher.
Yesterday a health board spokesman said: "We are reviewing all cases and deaths to ascertain if they meet the case definition - injecting drug users with evidence of severe swellings.
"We are not yet in a position to say if the illness from which this person died meets the case definition."
Yesterday, it was revealed victim number 16, a heroin addict Any individual who habitually uses any narcotic drug so as to endanger the public morals, health, safety, or welfare, or who is so drawn to the use of such narcotic drugs as to have lost the power of self-control with reference to his or her drug use. , died at St James' Hospital in Dublin's city centre.
Authorities fear the cases could spread right across Dublin, and will not remain confined con·fine
v. con·fined, con·fin·ing, con·fines
1. To keep within bounds; restrict: Please confine your remarks to the issues at hand. See Synonyms at limit. to the south west.
In a dangerous twist, the epidemic in Scotland where the disease seems to have first come to light has spread from Glasgow to Aberdeen.
The Dublin cases have almost exactly mirrored the Scottish experience so far.
There were 12 deaths in Glasgow over a short two-week period. But then another fortnight fort·night
A period of 14 days; two weeks.
[Middle English fourtenight, alteration of fourtene night, fourteen nights : Old English f later, it began again in Aberdeen, killing nine.
n. 1. Science of medicine. are worried the bug could follow the same trend here. Gardai are also investigating the deaths of other addicts, including Maureen Gleeson and Rosie Lakes, who died in unusual circumstances.
Officers are still running tests on a pounds 100,000 batch of heroin which they believe may be responsible for the deaths.
Meanwhile, local drug workers have been left in the dark about what's causing the deaths.
It was originally feared that either Anthrax anthrax (ăn`thrăks), acute infectious disease of animals that can be secondarily transmitted to humans. It is caused by a bacterium (Bacillus anthracis or the flesh-eating bug necrotising fasciitis fasciitis /fas·ci·itis/ (fas-e-i´tis) inflammation of a fascia.
eosinophilic fasciitis were responsible for the Glasgow-linked deaths.
Many of those who died exhibited symptoms of those diseases, including major internal organ failure and massive abscessing on the skin.
Experts are now looking at the possibility that the bug or virus is something they've never come across before.
They believe addicts who are injecting it directly into muscles are at most risk.
Junkies are still being warned by the Health Board not to inject under any circumstances.
The Health Board are taking the deaths so seriously that an expert from the Infectious Diseases infectious diseases: see communicable diseases. Centre in Atlanta has been drafted in.
In a separate development, gardai in the West have warned drug users to be on the alert after uncovering a batch of ecstasy tablets coated with heroin.
Supt Joe Staunton in Mayo said drugs officers had received a tip-off from a suspected dealer.
He said: "We are having a number of ecstasy tablets which we seized in the last two weeks analysed at the moment.
"It seems they may have been coated in a stronger drug in the possible attempt to get people hooked on that drug."
It's understood the tablets have been coated with heroin.
Supt Staunton said: "I would issue a warning to the young people using the drugs in the area.
"As we are awaiting analysis on that but we would give a warning from that point of view that it can be extremely dangerous Exteremely Dangerous is a 1999 four part series for ITV starring Sean Bean as an ex-MI5 undercover agent convicted of the brutal murder of his wife and child who goes on the run to try and clear his name. He sets out to follow up a strange clue sent to him in prison. ."
He also warned landlords to be on the lookout for in search of; looking for.
See also: Lookout dubious tenants.
He added: "Some of the people involved have been from out of town and are renting property in Castlebar and using those properties as a base for selling drugs."