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The truth about Anthrax
With all the scares and hoaxes going on today. I thought I would do my PSA bit. The following information was sent to me at work. I found it very interesting. I was raised in farm country around cattle so I was somewhat familiar with it, but there is alot I didn't know. I will also hopefully soon be making another entry regaarding some crap that is happening in my real life. Also thanks to Jen for the wonderful Halloween card.
What is anthrax?
Anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium
Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax most commonly occurs in wild and domestic lower
vertebrates (cattle, sheep, goats, camels, antelopes, and other herbivores),
but it can also occur in humans when they are exposed to infected animals or
tissue from infected animals.
Why has anthrax become a current issue?
Because anthrax is considered to be a potential agent for use in biological
warfare, the Department of Defense (DoD) has begun mandatory vaccination of
all active duty military personnel who might be involved in conflict.
How common is anthrax and who can get it?
Anthrax is most common in agricultural regions where it occurs in animals.
These include South and Central America, Southern and Eastern Europe, Asia,
Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. When anthrax affects humans, it
is usually due to an occupational exposure to infected animals or their
products. Workers who are exposed to dead animals and animal products from
other countries where anthrax is more common may become infected with B.
anthracis (industrial anthrax). Anthrax in wild livestock has occurred in
the United States.
How is anthrax transmitted?
Anthrax infection can occur in three forms: cutaneous (skin), inhalation,
and gastrointestinal. B. anthracis spores can live in the soil for many
years, and humans can become infected with anthrax by handling products from
infected animals or by inhaling anthrax spores from contaminated animal
products. Anthrax can also be spread by eating undercooked meat from
infected animals. It is rare to find infected animals in the United States.
What are the symptoms of anthrax?
Symptoms of disease vary depending on how the disease was contracted, but
symptoms usually occur within 7 days.
* Cutaneous: Most (about 95%) anthrax infections occur when the bacterium
enters a cut or abrasion on the skin, such as when handling contaminated
wool, hides, leather or hair products (especially goat hair) of infected
animals. Skin infection begins as a raised itchy bump that resembles an
insect bite but within 1-2 days develops into a vesicle and then a painless
ulcer, usually 1-3 cm in diameter, with a characteristic black necrotic
(dying) area in the center. Lymph glands in the adjacent area may swell.
About 20% of untreated cases of cutaneous anthrax will result in death.Deaths are rare with appropriate antimicrobial therapy.
* Inhalation: Initial symptoms may resemble a common cold. After several
days, the symptoms may progress to severe breathing problems and shock.
Inhalation anthrax is usually fatal.
* Intestinal: The intestinal disease form of anthrax may follow the
consumption of contaminated meat and is characterized by an acute
inflammation of the intestinal tract. Initial signs of nausea, loss of
appetite, vomiting, fever are followed by abdominal pain, vomiting of blood,
and severe diarrhea. Intestinal anthrax results in death in 25% to 60% of
Where is anthrax usually found?
Anthrax can be found globally. It is more common in developing countries or
countries without veterinary public health programs. Certain regions of the
world (South and Central America, Southern and Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa,
the Caribbean, and the Middle East) report more anthrax in animals than
Can anthrax be spread from person-to-person?
Direct person-to-person spread of anthrax is extremely unlikely to occur.
Communicability is not a concern in managing or visiting with patients with
Is there a way to prevent infection?
In countries where anthrax is common and vaccination levels of animal herds
are low, humans should avoid contact with livestock and animal products and
avoid eating meat that has not been properly slaughtered and cooked. Also,
an anthrax vaccine has been licensed for use in humans. The vaccine is
reported to be 93% effective in protecting against anthrax.
What is the anthrax vaccine?
The anthrax vaccine is manufactured and distributed by BioPort, Corporation,
Lansing, Michigan. The vaccine is a cell-free filtrate vaccine, which means
it contains no dead or live bacteria in the preparation. The final product
contains no more than 2.4 mg of aluminum hydroxide as adjuvant. Anthrax
vaccines intended for animals should not be used in humans.
Who should get vaccinated against anthrax?
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommend anthrax
vaccination for the following groups:
* Persons who work directly with the organism in the laboratory
* Persons who work with imported animal hides or furs in areas where
standards are insufficient to prevent exposure to anthrax spores.
* Persons who handle potentially infected animal products in high-incidence
areas. (Incidence is low in the United States, but veterinarians who travel
to work in other countries where incidence is higher should consider being
* Military personnel deployed to areas with high risk for exposure to the
organism (as when it is used as a biological warfare weapon).
The anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program in the U.S. Army Surgeon
General's Office can be reached at 1-877-GETVACC (1-877-438-8222).
* Pregnant women should be vaccinated only if absolutely necessary.
What is the protocol for anthrax vaccination?
The immunization consists of three subcutaneous injections given 2 weeks
apart followed by three additional subcutaneous injections given at 6, 12,
and 18 months. Annual booster injections of the vaccine are recommended
Are there adverse reactions to the anthrax vaccine?
Mild local reactions occur in 30% of recipients and consist of slight
tenderness and redness at the injection site. Severe local reactions are
infrequent and consist of extensive swelling of the forearm in addition to
the local reaction. Systemic reactions occur in fewer than 0.2% of
How is anthrax diagnosed?
Anthrax is diagnosed by isolating B. anthracis from the blood, skin lesions,
or respiratory secretions or by measuring specific antibodies in the blood
of persons with suspected cases.
Is there a treatment for anthrax?
Doctors can prescribe effective antibiotics. To be effective, treatment
should be initiated early. If left untreated, the disease can be fatal.
Where can I get more information about the recent Department of
Defense decision to require men and women in the Armed Services to be
vaccinated against anthrax?
anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program in the U.S. Army Surgeon General's
Office can be reached at 1-877-GETVACC (1-877-438-8222).
SOURCE: Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) web site
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In every neighborhood there is at least one house that all the neighbors gossip about. This is a diary from the woman who lives in that house. I am a single mother in her mid thirties. I live in North Dakota with my son, Warren.
I tend to be a bit of a slob, and am the opposite of a girly-girl. I am geek girl, who loves Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Buffy, Angel, action movies, science fiction, action adventure, Dr. Who, and so on and so on.
I love to write and while I don't post much fiction online anymore I would love to be a writer someday. I am also overweight, bipolar and suffer from allergy induced asthma.