The anthrax cells can live for decades without infecting any animals or humans until something comes close enough to infect.
What are the symptoms ?
The skin form of anthrax makes large pus filled blisters everywhere on your skin, which later can infect your bloodstream. The lung form of anthrax is much more dangerous. It gives you pneumonia and severe internal bleeding.
What is in the virus cells ?
The cells look like square ended rods that are about five thousandths of a millimeter thick. They can change into rounded spores which can survive a very long time in the wild.
What is the government doing about the threat from anthrax?
The government has teams of scientists who are trying to be able to tell anthrax apart from other viruses. Now, if someone sent a letter somewhere that said it had anthrax in it, it would take scientists up to three days to find out if it was really anthrax or not. They are trying to decode the virus's genetic code. But this is not all good. If you know the genetic codes you can also very easily splice other viruses to anthrax and have stronger, more deadly viruses that can live longer. They could also be airborne.