- By sahlhealth
- May 18, 2021
- 17 views
Anthrax is a rare but serious illness caused by a spore-forming bacterium, Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax mainly affects livestock and wild game. Humans can become infected through direct or indirect contact with sick animals.There’s no evidence that Anthrax is transmitted from person to person, but it’s possible that Anthrax skin lesions may be contagious through direct contact. Usually, Anthrax bacteria enter the body through a wound in the skin. You can also become infected by eating contaminated meat or inhaling the spores.
-There are four common routes of Anthrax infection, each with different signs and symptoms. In most cases, symptoms develop within seven days of exposure to the bacteria. The one exception is inhalation Anthrax. After exposure to inhalation Anthrax, it may take weeks before symptoms appear.
-A cutaneous Anthrax infection enters your body through a cut or other sore on your skin. It's by far the most common route the disease takes. It's also the mildest â€” with appropriate treatment, cutaneous Anthrax is seldom fatal. Signs and symptoms of cutaneous Anthrax include:
- A raised, itchy bump resembling an insect bite that quickly develops into a painless sore with a black center
- Swelling in the sore and nearby lymph glands
-This form of anthrax infection begins by eating undercooked meat from an infected animal. Signs and symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Severe, bloody diarrhea in the later stages of the disease
- Sore throat and difficulty swallowing
- Swollen neck
Inhalation (pulmonary) Anthrax
-Inhalation anthrax develops when you breathe in anthrax spores. It's the most deadly way to contract the disease, and even with treatment, it is often fatal. Initial signs and symptoms of inhalation Anthrax include:
- Flu-like symptoms, such as sore throat, mild fever, fatigue and muscle aches, which may last a few hours or days
- Mild chest discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing up blood
- Painful swallowing
As the disease progresses, you may experience:
- High fever
- Trouble breathing
- Meningitis â€” a potentially life-threatening inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
-This is the most recently identified route of anthrax infection. It's contracted through injecting illegal drugs and has been reported only in Europe so far. Initial signs and symptoms of injection Anthrax include:
- Redness at the area of injection (without an area that changes to black)
- Significant swelling
- As the disease progresses, you may experience:
- Multiple organ failure
-The standard treatment for Anthrax is a 60-day course of an antibiotic, such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro) or doxycycline (Monodox, Vibramycin, others). Which single antibiotic or combination of antibiotics will be most effective for you depends on how you were infected with anthrax, your age, your overall health and other factors. Treatment is most effective when started as soon as possible.Although some cases of Anthrax respond to antibiotics, advanced inhalation anthrax may not. By the later stages of the disease, the bacteria have often produced more toxins than drugs can eliminate.
-Since the 2001 attacks in the United States, antitoxin therapies have been developed. Instead of going after the bacteria that causes the disease, these medications help eliminate the toxins caused by the infection. These medications are still considered experimental.
-Some cases of injection Anthrax were successfully treated with the surgical removal of infected tissue.