Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases Ft Detrick United States
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Anthrax is an acute bacterial zoonotic disease of herbivorous animals caused by Bacillus anthracis, a Gram-positive toxinogenic encapsulated spore forming bacillus. Under natural conditions, humans become infected by inoculation or more rarely ingestion or inhalation of organisms from infected animals or contaminated animal products. The disease occurs world-wide and is endemic in grazing animals in less developed countries. It occurs very rarely in developed countries but the use of anthrax spores to intentionally cause human disease has heightened awareness of the disease. If recognized early, cutaneous anthrax is readily treatable with antibiotics. Inhalational and gastrointestinal anthrax are associated with high mortality of 50 even with appropriate antibiotics and modern supportive care. Exposure to an aerosol of spores is best managed by the combination of a prolonged course of antibiotics and vaccination.
- Medicine and Medical Research