New Mexico reports 11 cases of rare condition

SANTA FE (AP) _ The state Department of Health is investigating 11 cases, one of them fatal, of a rare condition that leaves people unable to fight off infections.

The agency says it appears the condition, agranulocytosis could be related to the use ofcocaine contaminated with levamisole. That's a medication used to deworm animals and treat certain conditions in people.

At least five of the patients used cocaine. The department says the man who died used cocaine and had levamisole in his system.

The University of New Mexico Hospital and TriCore Reference Laboratories in Albuquerque notified the Department of Health after noticing several cases of the rare condition over a short period.