Anthrax also called anthrax, is a very serious infectious disease. It occurs primarily in animals, but humans can also be infected. It is very rare for people to get anthrax.

Symptoms of anthrax

Anthrax has different symptoms depending on how the disease is transmitted.

The most common in humans is that the infection occurs through the skin. Then the disease often begins as a wound that becomes lasting and deep. Usually, the wound does not hurt. The bacteria can cause sepsis, also called blood poisoning, which is a serious condition that requires treatment.

If bacterial spores are inhaled, anthrax starts as severe pneumonia. It is followed by blood poisoning.

Anthrax in the gastrointestinal tract causes stomach pain, fever, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and sometimes also blood poisoning. 

Rapid illness

The symptoms usually come within two days of the infection but can take up to a week. Sometimes it takes even longer, but it is unusual.

When anthrax is transmitted through the lungs or gastrointestinal tract, the person infected becomes rapidly ill. It is very unusual and life-threatening condition. If this happens, it is important to get prompt treatment.

When should I seek care?

It is important to seek emergency care if you suspect you have become ill with anthrax, no matter what time of day it is.

This is how anthrax gets infected

Anthrax does not infect humans. On the other hand, you can be infected if wounds on the skin come into contact with infected animals. It can be contacted with a tissue as well as soil, traps, feed or anything else that has been contaminated with the bacterium. Among domestic animals, anthrax is most common in cattle, horses, sheep, and goats.

You can also get the disease if you eat anthrax meat or inhale bacterial spores. The spores can be found in dust from wool or soil. There, the bacteria can survive for decades and continue to be equally contagious.

Anthrax should be reported

Anthrax is a generally dangerous disease and must be reported in accordance with the Infection Protection Act.

How can I prevent anthrax?

The most important thing to prevent anthrax fire in humans is that people who work with animals have good knowledge and work and hygiene routines. This applies, for example, to the staff at veterinary medical facilities, factories that handle animal skins and laboratories. In this way, contact with the bacterium can be avoided.

If there is any suspicion that you have come into contact with anthrax infection, you can get antibiotics for preventive purposes.

Treatment of anthrax

Anthrax is treated with antibiotics. People who receive treatment of anthrax on time are almost always healthy.

About anthrax

Anthrax is caused by a bacterium. The bacteria can form spores that have the ability to survive in, for example, soil for many years.

The most recent case when a human became ill in anthrax occurred in 1965. An outbreak among cattle occurred in Östergötland in 2016. The last major outbreak among cattle before that was in the vicinity of Örebro 2011. Even in 2013, a single case occurred.

In 2001, anthrax spores were spread by mail in the United States by an unknown person, causing several deaths.

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