- by Medikoe Health Expert
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- Feb 14 2017
Learn More About Anthrax
A life-threatening disease that usually affects animals, Anthrax is an infection caused by Bacillus anthracis. This disease affects goats, cows, sheep, and horses but can also spread to humans if they come in contact with an infected animal. The reason for real concern is, however, the new understanding that this disease can be used in biological warfare.
Causes and symptoms?
These large, rod-like bacteria exist in their dormant form called spores in the soil. They contain 3 toxic proteins called protective antigen, lethal factor and edema factor which they secrete.
Commonly, the infection spreads through the skin which causes a dark and ugly sore. The main reason behind this being lack of healthcare regulations and exposure to infected carcasses.
Types of Anthrax
- Cutaneous/Skin anthrax
A reddish-brown raised spot that begins to enlarge causing redness and blistering around it. The center of the spot has a crater which drains a bloodstained liquid.
Symptoms include swollen glands, muscle pain, vomiting, fever and headaches. It resolves in about 2 months if the right antibiotics are provided, else can be deadly.
- Inhalation anthrax
Probably one of the most deadly forms of anthrax, it occurs when the person inhales the spores. The spores that survive from the lungs get transported to the chest. Here the spores multiply and secrete the deadly toxins leading to death eventually as the antibiotics can only kill the spores but cannot eliminate the deadly toxins secreted.
Symptoms begin with sore throat and develop into chest pain and respiratory difficulties as the illness worsens. In the final stages, severe haemorrhage and tissue death occurs as the disease spread through the body.
- Gastrointestinal/bowel anthrax
A rare form, this one is caused by eating infected, undercooked meat. It causes diarrhoea, nausea and abdominal pain. It spreads through the bloodstream and is deadly as it is highly toxic.
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