There are lots of illnesses that are rare and are caused by some unknown bacteria. One of which is anthrax. This illness is actually caused by a bacterium, which mainly affects the livestock. However, humans may also be infected by it by way of direct and indirect contact with sick animals. The treatments for anthrax mainly depends on if you have already developed the symptoms or not. Read on to this article to know more about this illness.
Anthrax: What is this illness?
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Anthrax, this acute communicable disease is actually caused by a spore-forming bacterium also known as the Bacillus anthracis. Usually, it is a disease of wild and domestic animals, just like goats, sheep, as well as cattle. However, even thou it is rare, the human infection may also occur. Moreover, the human infection commonly leads from a contact with an infected animal or from their own products. On the other hand, anthrax has become a topic of interest due to its possible that a particular nation or a terrorist group may attempt using it as their weapon of conflict or even terrorism.
The bacteria that causes the illness, Bacillus anthracis may produce strong spores which may potentially cause a deadly infection to people and animals.
There are about four different forms of the anthrax infection, they are as follow:
Each of these types is because of the Bacillus anthracis bacteria, which enter the body in various ways. Each of the routes of entry may lead to a unique set of signs and symptoms.
Moreover, as stated earlier, anthrax mainly distresses the livestock. However, a human may also acquire the infection via indirect or even direct contact with infected animals. On the other hand, there is no proof that the condition is transmittable from one person to another. However, it is probable that skin lesions caused by anthrax may be spreadable as a result of direct contact. Commonly, the anthrax bacteria may go into the body by means of a wound in the surface of the skin. Furthermore, you may also be infected when you eat a meal that’s contaminated or when you inhale the spores.
Causes of Anthrax
The main cause of the illness is the bacteria, Bacillus anthracis, which enter the body via swallowing, injecting, skin contact, or inhaling. Moreover, these bacteria naturally occur in the soil in most parts of the world. The spores may remain inactive for years ‘til they find their own way into a host. Some of the most common hosts for the anthrax infection include the domestic and wild livestock, including goats, horses, cattle, and sheep. Most of the cases of anthrax in humans actually occur as a result of an exposure to infected animals or their hides or meat.
Symptoms of Anthrax
The symptoms of the anthrax exposure mainly depend on the type of the contact. The symptoms may include:
Inhalation: those who breathe in anthrax commonly develop the symptoms within just a week. These symptoms include:
- Shortness of breathing
- A cough
- A Fever
- Painful muscles
- A sore throat
- Symptoms of cold
Cutaneous contact: here, anthrax is contracted through direct interaction with skin. You may acquire a small, raised up sore, which is very itchy. Furthermore, it usually looks like an insect bite. This will develop into a blister much quicker than you expect.
Ingestion: the symptoms in the gastrointestinal type of anthrax commonly progress within just a week of the exposure. It includes:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Bloody diarrhea
- Swelling of the neck
- Loss of appetite
Injection: this is probably the most lately recognized route of the anthrax infection. It is mainly contracted via injecting an illegal drug. Symptoms may include:
- Significant swelling
- Redness in the injected area
Treatments for Anthrax
The treatments for anthrax must be given as soon as possible. This is before the levels of the toxins and the harmful bacteria in the body turns out to be too high for the drugs to eradicate. Some of the standard treatments for anthrax are antitoxins and antibiotics. However, the type of antibiotics mainly depends on how does the infection occur, the age of the individual as well as his medical history.
The antitoxin therapies, furthermore, are presently being established to be able to target the toxins being released by the Bacillus anthracis. This is rather than the bacteria itself. Moreover, the Food and Drug Administration says that there is no trustworthy scientific evidence that may suggest that the dietary supplements may help in preventing or treating anthrax. Furthermore, this is in response to various claims that say the substances like zinc or oregano oil may help in controlling the illness.
Here are some tips that may help you in preventing the onset of the illness:
- Avoid having contact with raw animal hides, specifically those of goats, sheep, and cows.
- Eat only the meat that has been suitably cooked and slaughtered.
It is always a matter of taking care of ourselves, what we eat, where we go, and what we get in contact with. Let us be safe in whatever we do to be able to avoid illnesses like anthrax.