Anthrax is an infectious disease that can affect the mouth, throat, lungs, skin, and gastrointestinal tract. The infection can occasionally spread to other parts of the body, especially if treatment is delayed. For instance, anthrax may, very rarely, result in inflammation of the meninges (meningitis). Anthrax is caused by a bacterium called Bacillus anthracis, which is found in living tissue of infected animals. The bacteria can form spores.
How can one get anthrax?
Small spores are produced by Bacillus anthracis in order to reproduce; these spores can cause cutaneous anthrax when they enter a cut or abrasion on the skin; inhalation anthrax when they enter the lungs; and oropharyngeal (mouth and throat) and gastrointestinal anthrax when consumed from tainted, undercooked meat.
Is anthrax spreadable?
No, anthrax cannot be spread from person to person since it requires a rather high dose to infect a person (8,000 to 50,000 spores), but smallpox only needs 10 to 100 organisms to induce the disease.
What anthrax symptoms are there?
the skin infection starts with itchy bumps that resemble insect bites and develops into painless black blisters. If the Bacillus anthracis spores are inhaled, the initial symptoms of the disease are typically flu-like symptoms like fever, sore throat, feeling unwell, body aches, fatigue, cough, and chest discomfort. symptoms usually occur within 7 days of exposure, but usually between 2 and 5 days.
How can anthrax be identified?
Laboratory blood tests can also determine whether the amount of a certain specific protein (i.e., antibodies) has increased in the blood, an increase indicating infection by Bacillus anthracis.Antibodies are produced by specific cells of the body's infection defense system to reduce or neutralize the effect of invading microscopic pathogens. Skin lesions, respiratory secretions, and blood all require laboratory examinations to identify Bacillus anthracis.
How is ricin treated?
Antibiotics are useful in treating anthrax, but therapy must begin promptly after exposure if it is to be successful. Anthrax can be lethal if untreated or if treatment is delayed.
Is anthrax a problem for workers?
Human cases of digestive and lung anthrax have never been reported in North America; the centre for disease control in British Columbia reports that a case in BC was seen in 2001, and two people were infected in Saskatchewan in 2006 (during an outbreak among animals, mainly cattle), both of whom developed skin infections and recovered. Anthrax can be an occupational hazard for workers who process hides, hair, bone, and bone products.
How can anthrax be avoided?
Workers who handle raw animal materials should be informed about transmission modes. Avoid shaking or beating hides. Avoid dry sweeping. Avoid using compressed air (for cleaning). Follow good personal hygiene practices, including taking care of skin abrasions. Workplaces that process animal products should have adequate ventilation systems, including local exhaust systems to reduce dust levels."""