What is anthrax?
What is Anthrax? 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.
How do you get anthrax?
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. Certain activities can also increase a person’s chances of getting infected.
What happens when anthrax spores enter the body?
When anthrax spores get inside the body, they can be “activated.” When they become active, the bacteria can multiply, spread out in the body, produce toxins (poisons), and cause severe illness.
How common is anthrax in animals?
Anthrax is more common in developing countries and countries that do not have veterinary public health programs that routinely vaccinate animals against anthrax. In the United States, yearly vaccination of livestock is recommended in areas where animals have had anthrax in the past.
What is the prevalence of gastrointestinal anthrax in rural areas?
Gastrointestinal anthrax is greatly underreported in rural disease-endemic areas of the world. The apparent paucity of this form of anthrax reflects the lack of facilities able to make the diagnosis in these areas. The spectrum of disease, ranging from subclinical infection to death, has not been fully recognized.
Is anthrax contagious to humans?
Anthrax can cause severe illness in both humans and animals. Anthrax is not contagious, which means you can’t catch it from another person like the cold or flu. How people get infected with anthrax