Anthrax is a life-threatening infectious disease that normally affects animals, especially ruminants (such as goats, cattle, sheep, and horses). Anthrax can be transmitted to humans by contact with infected animals or their products.
What causes anthrax?
The agent of anthrax is a bacterium called Bacillus anthracis.
Anthrax can manifest itself in three different forms: cutaneous (skin), inhalation, and gastrointestinal. Humans can transfer the spores to themselves by handling contaminated animal products. They can also become infected by inhaling the spores from animal products, or eating contaminated undercooked meat. The majority (95%) of people who become infected with anthrax, usually come into contact with the spores through a cut or abrasion, obtained when handling contaminated wool, hides, hair, or leather products. Spores have the ability to live in soil for many years. However, anthrax transmission from person to person is extremely unlikely. People should not be concerned about being infected upon treating or visiting those who are ill with anthrax.
Anthrax can target to numerous organs but mainly it targets on heart.
Symptoms of Anthrax
Symptoms of anthrax an individual may experience vary depending upon the type of exposure.
Skin exposure: (Cutaneous Anthrax) a boil-like lesion appears on the hands, face, and neck. These lesions eventually forms a black center. A swelling of the lymph gland under the arm may occur. The cutaneous form of anthrax is not usually fatal to humans
Respiratory exposure: (Pulmonary Anthrax) symptoms might resemble the common cold and may progress to severe breathing problems and possibly death. Pulmonary anthrax causes lesions in the lungs and brain.
Symptoms of anthrax usually appear within 7 days of exposure.
By Mayo Clinic staff
Antibiotics are recommended to prevent infection in anyone exposed to the spores. Ciprofloxacin and doxycycline are approved by the Food and Drug... [continues]
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