Anthrax

Below you will find more information about Anthrax from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Anthrax it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Anthrax and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Anthrax comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Anthrax is an acute disease in animals and humans, which is caused by the bacterium "bacillus anthracis". Some types of anthrax are highly lethal. There are 89 types of anthrax recorded. Unlike other types of bacteria, anthrax can form long-lived spores. As soon as the life cycle of the bacteria is threatened by various factors, such as temperature change of dying host, the bacteria can transform into dormant spores, wait for another host and transfer to continue their life cycle. Anthrax usually occurs in wild and grass-eating mammals that breathe or ingest in the spores while eating grass. This disease can also be caught by humans exposed to dead infected pigs, high amounts of anthrax spores in animal wool, fur or hide and tissues from infected animals. While anthrax cannot be spread directly from one person to the next, human clothing can transfer the spores and when an infected person dies and the body is buried.

Treatment

Direct spread of anthrax from person-to-person is unlikely, but contaminated clothes or infected bodies can transfer to people. Decontamination of anthrax can be done by washing with soap and water, bleach, chlorine or an anti-microbial agent. It can also be decontaminated through boiling the contaminated articles in water for at least 30 minutes or burning the clothes. After decontamination, immunization, isolation and treatments are not needed. However, antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, doxycyline, erythromycin, penicillin and vancomycin can be used orally or intravenously to treat anthrax infection. The most effective form of treatment against anthrax is vaccination. However, this should be done before exposure to the disease.

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