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Infant has suspected fentanyl exposure, Winnipeg police charge mother and father

Fentanyl pills are shown in an undated police handout photo. The Canadian Press / Handout

WINNIPEG — Winnipeg police have charged the mother and father of a nine-month-old boy who was rushed to hospital after suspected fentanyl exposure last week.

On Oct. 21, police found the infant in critical condition in a house on Aikens Street in the North End, and rushed him to hospital. Police also found residue of what they suspect was the powerful opioid fentanyl in the home.

WATCH: Const. Jason Michalyshen says two adults have been charged with failures to provide the necessities of life, after their infant was exposed to suspected fentanyl

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“While inside the residence investigators observed a powdery substance believed to be fentanyl, including powder material, ” said Const. Jason Michalyshen Tuesday at a media conference.

READ MORE: Winnipeg police investigate whether young child suffered fentanyl overdose

“Officers immediately notified medical staff, at which time the child was treated appropriately resulting in an immediate improvement in the child’s condition,” he said.

Michalyshen said they gave the child the opioid antidote, Naloxone and immediately his condition improved.

The child’s condition has since been upgraded to stable.

RELATED: Winnipeg police to be equipped with drug to combat opioid overdoses

Members of the child abuse unit launched an investigation and executed a search warrant at the residence. They found:

  • Up to a half an ounce of loose suspected fentanyl powder.
  • 10 ounces of bagged suspected fentanyl powder.
  • A cutting agent.
  • A contaminated bowl and spoon.

“The child may have had inadvertent contact with what we believe to be fentanyl, and this might be from hand-to-hand contact, clothing or other times like a bottle or toy,” Michalyshen  said.

Police said they are still waiting for confirmation from Health Canada on the results of residue found in the home. Michalyshen said they will have the results in the next few days.

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They were charged with failure to provide the necessities of life, cause of bodily harm by criminal negligence and possession of a substance for the purpose of trafficking. Both remain in custody.

Police and health officials say fentanyl poses a serious threat to public safety across North America. The opioid is used as a painkiller for terminally ill cancer patients and is 100 times more powerful than heroin.

WATCH: Global News’ coverage of the deadly drug, fentanyl

With files from the Canadian Press

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