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Anthrax Disease

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One of the most dangerous diseases is anthrax. Anthrax was first discovered in 1877 by a German physician and scientist Robert Koch. Anthrax has been very well known to be used in biological warfare. It is unknown exactly how many people died from the infection, but depending on how they were exposed to the anthrax disease it can range from 25% - 60% fatality rate.

Anthrax is a communicable disease, you usually get it from infected animals. There are three primary pathways for anthrax to get to you. There is Cutaneous anthrax, Inhalation anthrax, and Gastrointestinal anthrax. Cutaneous anthrax occurs when anthrax touches cut or scab, Inhalation anthrax occurs when anthrax spores enter lungs, and you get Gastrointestinal anthrax from eating anthrax-contaminated meat.

Anthrax has different symptoms depending on how you were exposed. If you get a blister or ulcer that turns into a black scab you have Cutaneous anthrax. Inhalation anthrax has stages. The first stage usually contains fever, malaise, headache, cough, shortness of breath and chest pains. In the second stage shock may occur, and the third and final stage for Inhalation anthrax is death. If you have Gastrointestinal anthrax you will notice nausea and vomiting which may include blood, anorexia, and even bloody diarrhea.

There are tests available you can take to be sure if you have the disease. There are different tests for each type of way you believe you were exposed. If you think you have Cutaneous anthrax, a culture of skin lesion will be done to study the bacteria that causes anthrax. If you think you have been exposed to Inhalational anthrax you will have a chest X-ray, blood cultures, sputum cultures, spinal tap for CSF culture, and they also might do a gram stain. Samples may be sent to a special lab for more accurate testing. These tests include PCR, immunofluorescence, and immunohistochemistry.

Anthrax is a bacterium so it can usually be killed with antibiotics



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