Anthrax Disease: Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment

Anthrax disease is an infectious disease of animals that is also transmitted to man. This disease is also known as Carbuncle. Anthrax or anthrax is a disease that forms by the Spora bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The name of the bacterium derives from the Greek term for coal, due to ulcers with dark centers that develop on the skin of the affected people.

Anthrax is present in all continents, with high mortality in ruminants, and is a zoonosis (a disease that mainly affects animals but is transmissible to man). It is transmitted from domestic animals (cattle, sheep, goats, buffalo, pigs, and others) to humans by direct contact or through products of animal origin.

Anthrax Disease

The bacteria produce extremely potent toxins that are responsible for the debilitating effects and cause a high mortality rate. Although most mammals are sensitive, it is a disease typical of ruminants and men.

What is the cause of this disease?

This disease is caused by a bacterium, Bacillus anthracis, which is found in the environment in the form of spores. You May Also Like To Read Roundworm.

How can convey and spread the disease?

Anthrax is not usually transmitted between animals or between people. In contact with oxygen, the bacteria produce highly resistant spores that survive for years on the soil or wool or hair of infected animals. Spores can penetrate the body of an animal by ingestion or inhalation or through wounds on the skin, where they germinate and cause disease.

As the blood of infected animals does not always coagulate properly, the animal may bleed through the body orifices, and the insects will transmit the bacteria to other animals. Carnivores and humans can acquire the infection if they consume the flesh of an infected animal. However, the infection of the animals occurs in general by the ingestion of spores that were in the soil or in the feed.

How can infect the man?

There are three contagious forms:

  • Breathing: Aspiration of the microbe from environments contaminated with wool, hairs or remains of infected animals.
  • Skin: The microbe enters the body through a wound, usually when infected animals are killed, mainly killed.
  • Mouth: When you eat meat from infected animals.

What are the symptoms that people present?

The symptoms are according to the form of contagion:

  • If the microbe entered the body through the airway, then the symptoms will be difficulty breathing and fever.
  •  When the microbe entered the body by means of a wound on the skin, then a wound hardening occurs (the next day or two days), then a blister, which turns into a black scab (kind of scab which occurs with sagging of the skin).
  • Or if the microbe entered the body by eating meat from an infected animal, then the symptoms will be vomiting and diarrhea.

What are the symptoms of the animals?

They present fever, stop ruminating, become irritable, can not breathe, have difficulty getting to their feet. In chronic cases, pigs, sheep, horses, and dogs present with edemas on the skin (inflammations in the skin), also eliminate abundant foam with blood through the mouth; they finally die asphyxiated. You May Also Like To Read Chickenpox.

It is common to find dead ruminants without any signs of disease. In this acute form of the disease, there may be high fever, muscle tremors and shortness of breath just before the collapse and death of the animal. When the blood coagulates it can exude through the body orifices a post-mortem stiffness is not always present.

How can diagnose the disease?

Through laboratory studies, blood samples or secretions of skin lesions, in both humans and animals.

What is the Anthrax disease treatment?

  • HUMANS: It can be treated with antibiotics, under medical prescription.
  • ANIMALS: The disease is deadly, but if detects early, it can be medicated.

How to prevent Anthrax disease?

The population in general:

  • Do not consume meat sold clandestinely or of dubious origin.
  • Always buy meat or products derived from it in places of guarantee.
  • Cook the meats we eat well.

Livestock farmers:

  • Vaccinate all healthy animals periodically once a year.
  • Avoid contact with infected animals.
  • Bury dead animals 2 meters underground and cover them with a layer of quicklime.
  • Prevent other animals from coming into contact with the sick or dead animal.
  • If you have suspect animals in your cattle, immediately notify the agricultural service or the nearest health facility.

Where does the disease exist?

Anthrax disease is found all over the world, on all continents except Antarctica. There are endemic areas with more frequent outbreaks and other areas subject to sporadic outbreaks. Outbreaks arise in response to climatic changes, which bring to the surface the spores that are present in the soil when the ruminants get to ingest, germinate and cause the disease.


The effects of anthrax can be devastating and even fatal. With this guide, we hope to help you understand the basics about how it’s contracted and what you need to do if you or a loved one is exposed. If you want more information on any specific topic that isn’t covered here, feel free to contact us for advice tailored to your needs! We look forward to hearing from you soon.

As A References: Wikipedia

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