Anthrax is a serious infectious illness caused by the microbe Bacillus anthracis. This microbe resides in soil. Anthrax became widely known in when it was used as a biological weapon. Powdered anthrax spores were sent via letters in U. This anthrax attack resulted in five deaths and 17 illnesses, making it one of the worst biological attacks in the history of the United States. You can get anthrax through indirect or direct contact by touching, inhaling, or ingesting anthrax spores. Once anthrax spores get inside your body and activate, the bacteria multiply, spread, and produce toxins. Anthrax can be used as a biological weapon, but this is very rare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC suggest that anthrax is one of the most likely agents to be used in a biological attack.
What is anthrax?
Anthrax commonly affects livestock but can also infect humans through the handling of products that have come in contact with infected animals or been exposed to anthrax spores. This article was last reviewed on Wednesday, January 16, All Rights Reserved. Anthrax: Symptoms and Treatment. What is Anthrax? Anthrax is a serious infection caused by the rod-shaped bacterium, Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax, or a Bacillus anthracis infection, can spread through ingestion or inhalation of the bacterial spores. Although rare, the disease which commonly affects livestock, may infect people who come into contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products. Most cases of anthrax among people have been a result of exposure to infected animals or their meat or hides.
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Risk Factors for Anthrax
Anthrax is an infection caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax is spread by contact with the bacterium's spores , which often appear in infectious animal products. Anthrax vaccination is recommended for people who are at high risk of infection.
Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax can be found naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals around the world. Although it is rare in the United States, people can get sick with anthrax if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products. Contact with anthrax can cause severe illness in both humans and animals. Domestic and wild animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, antelope, and deer can become infected when they breathe in or ingest spores in contaminated soil, plants, or water. In areas where domestic animals have had anthrax in the past, routine vaccination can help prevent outbreaks. People get infected with anthrax when spores get into the body. This can happen when people breathe in spores, eat food or drink water that is contaminated with spores, or get spores in a cut or scrape in the skin. It is very uncommon for people in the United States to get infected with anthrax.