February 24, 2017
font size

Anthrax (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

How is anthrax contracted?

Anthrax can infect humans in three ways. The most common is infection through the skin, which causes an ugly, dark sore. Humans and animals can ingest anthrax from carcasses of dead animals that have been contaminated with anthrax. Ingestion of anthrax can cause serious, sometimes fatal disease. The most deadly form is inhalation anthrax. If the spores of anthrax are inhaled, they migrate to lymph glands in the chest where they proliferate, spread, and produce toxins that often cause death.

How common is anthrax? What are risk factors for anthrax infection?

Anthrax is now rare in humans in the United States and developed countries. It still occurs today, largely in countries lacking public-health regulations that prevent exposure to infected goats, cattle, sheep, and horses and their products. In the last few years, there have been rare cases of anthrax in people exposed to imported animal hides used to make drums. Drum players, drum makers, and their family members have been infected in this way. The major concern for those of us in western countries (who don't play drums) is the use of anthrax as an agent of biological warfare. Individuals who are at higher risk to become infected with anthrax include

  • veterinarians,
  • livestock producers and farmers,
  • travelers to areas where anthrax is endemic,
  • handlers of animal products (for example, animal hides),
  • laboratory personnel that study anthrax, and
  • mail handlers, military personnel, and individuals trained to respond to bioterrorists and/or biological warfare.

How long is the incubation period with anthrax?

The incubation period (the period between contact with anthrax and the start of symptoms) may be relatively short, from one to five days. Like other infectious diseases, the incubation period for anthrax is quite variable and it may be weeks before an infected individual feels sick.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/19/2016

Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/anthrax/article.htm

Women's Health

Find out what women really need.

Anthrax Related Articles
advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations