Anthrax is a life-threatening infectious disease that originated in Egypt and normally affects animals; such as goats, cattle, sheep, and horses. Anthrax can be transmitted to humans by contact with an infected animal or their products. Over the years anthrax has received a great deal of attention as biologists have discovered that it can also be spread by a bioterrorist attack or as chemical warfare. Anthrax is not one of the diseases that spread from person to person. As of today, there are three known types of ways anthrax can infect a human. The most common way is infection through the skin. This causes an ugly sore that usually goes away without treatment. This is also known as cutaneous. Cutaneous form of anthrax starts as a red-brown raised spot that enlarges with a tint of redness around it, then results in blistering and hardening. The center of the spot then shows an ulcer crater with blood-tinged drainage and the formation of a black crust called an Escher. Also there will be swollen lymph nodes in this area. Some symptoms include muscle aches and pain, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. The illness usually goes away in about six weeks, but death may occur if you are not prescribed appropriate antibiotics. Another way is through inhalation of anthrax. Inhalation anthrax is a very serious disease, and unfortunately, most affected individuals will die even if they get appropriate antibiotics. This is because antibiotics are effective in killing the bacteria, but they do not destroy the deadly toxins that have already been released and traveled through the body. This affects the body by entering into the lungs, and then the spores get picked up in the lungs by scavenger cells called macrophages. Most of the spores are killed, but unfortunately some survive and are taken to the glands in the chest called lymph nodes. In the lymph nodes, the spores that survive multiply, produce deadly toxins, and spread throughout the body. The last and most...
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