Read about anthrax medical facts: what is the definition of anthrax, medical treatment & how to treat anthrax, and related anthrax diseases.

Definition: What is "Anthrax"?


Anthrax is an acute disease in animals & humans, which is caused by the bacterium "bacillus anthracis". Some types of anthrax are highly lethal. There are 89 types of anthrax recorded. Unlike other types of bacteria, anthrax can form long-lived spores. As soon as the life cycle of the bacteria is threatened by various factors, such as temperature change of dying host, the bacteria can transform into dormant spores, wait for another host & transfer to continue their life cycle. Anthrax usually occurs in wild & grass-eating mammals that breathe or ingest in the spores while eating grass. This disease can also be caught by humans exposed to dead infected pigs, high amounts of anthrax spores in animal wool, fur or hide & tissues from infected animals. While anthrax cannot be spread directly from one person to the next, human clothing can transfer the spores & when an infected person dies & the body is buried.

Treatment: How to Treat "Anthrax"?

Direct spread of anthrax from person-to-person is unlikely, but contaminated clothes or infected bodies can transfer to people. Decontamination of anthrax can be done by washing with soap & water, bleach, chlorine or an anti-microbial agent. It can also be decontaminated through boiling the contaminated articles in water for at least 30 minutes or burning the clothes. After decontamination, immunization, isolation & treatments are not needed. However, antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, doxycyline, erythromycin, penicillin & vancomycin can be used orally or intravenously to treat anthrax infection. The most effective form of treatment against anthrax is vaccination. However, this should be done before exposure to the disease.

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