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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.