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Transcript
Anthrax
Acute infectious disease caused by bacillus anthracis.
Infections in humans:

Skin contact – cutaneous, ingestion-gastrointestinal, inhalation-pumonary

Person-to-person transmission of inhalation disease does not occur. *
*direct exposure to vesicle secretions of cutaneous anthrax can result in a secondary
infection.
Pulmonary signs and symptoms:
Flu-like symptoms that may briefly improve two to four days after initial
symptoms
 Abrupt onset of respiratory failure
 Hemodynamic collapse
 Thoracic edema
 Widened mediastinum on xray
 Positive blood culture in 2-3 days of illness
Prognosis:

Good if treated early. Increased mortality rate if treated after respiratory
onset.
Cutaneous signs and symptoms:



Local skin involvement with direct contact
Commonly seen on head, forearms, or hands
Localized itching followed by popular lesion that turns vescular within 2-6 days
– develops into depressed black eschar
Prognosis:
Good if treated with antibiotics.
Gastrointestinal signs and symptoms:



Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever
Bloody diarrhea, hematemesis
Positive culture after 2-3 days
Prognosis:
If progression to toxemia and sepsis, prognosis is poor.
Modes of transmission:



Inhalation of spores
Skin contact
Ingestion of contaminated food
Incubation period:



Pulmonary: 2-60 days
Cutaneous: 1-7 days
Gastrointestinal: 1-7 days
Transmission:
Anthrax is not airborne person to person. Direct contact with infectious skin
lesions can transmit infection.
Prevention:
Vaccine available-limited quantities.