In San Diego County, California, nine people have been diagnosed in the past two months with heroin addiction to black tar, seven of whom have died from flesh-eating bacteria. In response, local health officials notified doctors of the infections caused by the use of this drug.
Between Oct. 2 and Nov. 24, nine users of black tar heroin were admitted to local hospitals with severe myonecrosis. Seven of them died; males between the ages of 19 and 57, according to the San Diego County News Center.
Myonecrosis is a bacterial infection of soft tissues that directly attacks the muscles and can lead to amputations, if left untreated can cause shock in and even death.
Health authorities warned doctors about this type of infection because myonecrosis and wound botulism are related to people who use illegal drugs. In October a case of wound botulism was confirmed in a patient addicted to the use of black tar heroin, and last year seven cases of wound botulism were reported and three in 2017, according to data from San Diego County News Center.
Dr. Wilma Wooten, a county public health official, said, “People who use black tar heroin are not only at higher risk of dying from an overdose, but also more prone to developing myonecrosis and wound botulism,” according to the Times of San Diego.
The investigation of these cases is ongoing, so far the symptoms of myonecrosis reported are: intense pain and swelling in the area of a wound or injection site, fever, increased sweating and heart rate, blisters, air under the skin, and pale, discolored skin.
Symptoms of botulism include: weak or drooping eyelids, blurred vision, dry mouth, sore throat, trouble speaking, trouble swallowing and breathing, and progressive paralysis that travels throughout the body.
The heroin for sale comes from Mexico and most of this drug is intercepted at the border near San Diego. One of the measures under Trump’s administration was to declare a “public health emergency” in order to reduce and prevent as much as possible deaths caused by this addiction.