Trenten JohnsonAlicia CarleyBIOL 22211 February 2018Anthrax Anthrax, known scientifically as Bacillus anthracis, is a serious, often fatal, infectious bacterial disease.
The bacteria is Gram-positive and rod-shaped. Among the public it is most notable for its use as a biological weapon typically sent through the mail to prominent people. Contact with anthrax spores gives any person a chance to become infected as the bacteria have no known preferences. Although, children and elders are at a higher risk of contracting the disease due to their weaker immune systems. Once a person is infected, they are not contagious.
Developing countries, such as those is Africa and Central America, with large tracts of agricultural land and many animals have the highest incidence of anthrax. There are four types of anthrax, cutaneous, inhalation, gastrointestinal, and injection, but they are all a result of the same bacteria. In the United States the most common form is cutaneous, but even this form is still exceedingly rare.
Due to its rarity, many doctors would misdiagnose this disease as simple pneumonia or a cold until it is too late. There are presently only two ways to test for it, by measuring antibodies or toxins in a blood sample or by testing directly for Bacillus anthracis in blood or spinal fluid. Historically, in Egypt and Greece, a disease which presents the symptoms of anthrax Symptoms of anthrax, depending on the vector of infection, may include fever, headache, diarrhea, swelling, sore throat, and bumps at the infection site.Treatments for the disease usually revolve around antibiotics and antitoxins. All types of anthrax can be treated with antibiotics. For serious infections, draining of fluids and ventilators may be needed. Antitoxins role is to neutralize the toxins produced by the bacteria.
These toxins spread all over the body and are the main cause of the symptoms and illness. Currently, there exists a vaccine for anthrax, but it is not licensed for use on children, adults over 65, or pregnant and nursing women. The vaccine is also only put to use in at-risk individuals such as, Works Citedhttps://www.cdc.gov/anthrax/index.htmlhttps://medlineplus.gov/anthrax.htmlhttps://ecdc.europa.eu/en/anthraxhttps://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/anthrax/fact_sheet.htm