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What is anthrax?

Asked by C. Gray, Last updated: Oct 25, 2020

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K. Galatia

K. Galatia

K. Galatia
K. Galatia

Answered Mar 25, 2020

Anthrax is a bacterial infection caused by Bacillus anthracis. Bacillus anthrax is a gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria. It is also a spore-forming, facultative anaerobe. Bacillus anthracis is naturally found in the soil, and it can be found in animals.

Anthrax is not common, but it leads to a severe illness. Anthrax can affect the skin (cutaneous anthrax), digestive system (gastrointestinal anthrax), and lungs (pulmonary anthrax).

Cutaneous anthrax is the least severe form of anthrax. It forms an ulcer with a black center known as “eschar” which is a necrotic ulcer.

Gastrointestinal anthrax begins when a person consumes the undercooked meat of an infected animal. The symptoms include bloody diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, swollen neck, and difficulty swallowing.

Pulmonary anthrax is acquired when someone inhales anthrax spores. Symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing blood, chest pain, and other flu-like symptoms.

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E. Reyes

E. Reyes

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E. Reyes
E. Reyes, Computer Engineer, MCA, Exeter

Answered Mar 22, 2020

Anthrax is a disease that affects the cattle and sheep on the skin. This bacterial disease can also have an effect on man, causing skin ulceration, or a wool sorter disease which is a form of pneumonia. Anthrax is gotten from the Greek words 'anthrax' and 'anthrak' (i.e., coal and carbuncle).

This bacterial infection disease is rare, and usually forms in the skin of animals, and it seldom affects man too. When a man inhales the spores, or come in contact with an animal that is already infected, then he can also be infected. The causative bacteria for this infection are known as "Bacillus anthracis," which is of rod shape and gram-positive.

This disease, which is common between both domestic and wild animals, is primarily present in the soil. Anthrax has the ability to occur in four different forms, which are lungs, injection, skin, and intestinal. This can be contacted through a broken skin area, through eating and breathing also.

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