Wound botulism in injecting drug users in Norway


Six cases of wound botulism have been reported in Norway among people who had injected heroin. Two cases have been confirmed and four are suspected cases with laboratory results pending. All cases reported heroin use and most reported intramuscular injection of heroin. The cases 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.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have issued a Rapid Risk Assessment on Wound Botulism in Injecting Drug Users.
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.