BACILLUS ANTHRACIS INFECTION

Bacillus anthracis infection is a gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria that produces anthrax, a disease that is fatal to cattle and, sometimes, people. It occurs naturally in soil. People afflicted with anthrax may come into touch with sick livestock or contaminated meat products. Anthrax may cause significant illness in both animals and humans.

Anthrax spores that penetrate the body may cause infection. Anthrax spores may become “active” once they have entered the host. Once the bacteria have multiplied, they can move throughout the body, produce toxins, and lead to a serious sickness. People may experience this when they inhale spores, consume spore-contaminated food or beverages, or come into contact with spores through cuts or skin scrapes. Additionally, bioterrorism exploits this bacteria.

SYMPTOMS

Each kind of anthrax has a unique set of symptoms. Most kinds of anthrax develop symptoms within one week of exposure to Bacillus anthracis infection, however inhalation anthrax may take over a month to manifest.

Inhalation anthrax

Those who inhale anthrax spores may get this fatal form of the disease. It is thought to be the most lethal type of anthrax and frequently results in death.

Initial warning symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Nausea
  • Muscle ache
  • Shock 
  • Mild chest discomfort
  • Painful swallowing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shock 
  • Coughing up blood
  • Meningitis

Cutaneous anthrax

Anthrax infections transmitted via the skin (cutaneous) enter the body through a cut or other opening. It is the most prevalent kind of anthrax infection and is also the least hazardous. 

Some warning signs and symptoms are:

  • Flu-like symptoms including fever and headache
  • Swelling around sore
  • Itchy bumps and blisters

Gastrointestinal anthrax

It is linked to the consumption of undercooked infected meat. These microorganisms may affect your digestive system.

Some warning signs and symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swollen neck
  • Nausea
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain

DIAGNOSIS

The symptoms of anthrax are similar to those of more common illnesses, such as influenza and pneumonia. Unless there is a special reason to suspect anthrax, a physician will rule out these conditions before contemplating anthrax.

If other illnesses are ruled out, anthrax-specific diagnostics may be performed.

Diagnostic tests may include the following;

  • Skin testing
  • Blood tests
  • Chest X-ray or CT scan
  • Stool testing
  • Spinal tap (lumbar puncture)

TREATMENT

Anthrax must be treated as soon as possible, before the body’s levels of toxins and dangerous microorganisms grow too high for medications to eradicate.

Antibiotics and antitoxins are the conventional therapy for anthrax. The kind of antibiotics prescribed will depend on the cause of the illness, the patient’s age, and medical records.

The doctor may prescribe the following drugs for the treatment of Bacillus anthracis infection:

  • Ciprofloxacin 
  • Doxycycline 
  • Vibramycin
  • Levofloxacin 
  • Raxibacumab and obiltoxaximab

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