Wiltshire Police officer tested amid Novichok fear

Parts of Salisbury had only been reopened two months ago after the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal

Roughly 100 counter-terror officers are working "round the clock" with Wiltshire Police to identify the source of contamination, according to the Met.

A Salisbury District Hospital spokesperson said: "A police officer attended Great Western Hospital this evening for medical advice in connection with the ongoing incident in Amesbury".

"It was initially believed that the two patients fell ill after possibly using drugs from a contaminated batch", Mills said.

A police officer guards a cordoned off rubbish bin on Rolleston Street, after it was confirmed that two people had been poisoned with the nerve-agent Novichok, in Salisbury, Britain, July 5, 2018.

Police have said they are looking for a vial that may contain Novichok.

Police said they could not rule out more people falling ill as a result of contact with the nerve agent apparently left over from the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

Sturgess and Rowley collapsed in Amesbury, a few miles away, over the weekend.

Health chiefs said the risk to the public was low, repeating their earlier advice that the public should wash their clothes and use cleansing wipes on personal items.

The man and woman are now critically ill in England's Salisbury District Hospital, where the Skripals were previously treated.

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"However, I must say that we are not in a position to say whether the nerve agent was from the same batch that the Skripals were exposed to".

The huge inquiry has yet to lead to the public identification of any suspects after a lack of CCTV in Salisbury apparently hampered efforts to track any would-be assassins.

As they lie in intensive care, breathing with the assistance of ventilators and surrounded by the world's leading experts on Novichok poisoning, two obscure British citizens, who lived on the margins in their tranquil community, may have an impact in relations between global powers.

The unexplained poisoning of two British citizens with no apparent link to Russian Federation raised health concerns in Salisbury, where a massive decontamination effort took place after the Skripal poisoning case.

Despite the US oversight to dismantle Russia's chemical arsenals after the Soviet collapse, Uglev said he couldn't exclude that some lab workers might have been tempted to sell toxic substances amid the economic meltdown and political turmoil in the 1990s.

"What we are clear on.is that this is the exact same nerve agent from the Novichok family", he said.

As noted by Deborah Haynes, the defence editor for the Times, the most likely explanation for the subsequent poisoning is that they came into contact with remaining residue from the Skripal attack.

This latest case of poisoning has raised public health concerns in the Salisbury area, where a massive decontamination effort took place after the Skripals were poisoned.

Forensic investigators in hazardous material suits and gas masks have begun searching the building where one of the latest Novichok victims lives.

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