Anthr“ask” About Anthrax
Since the anthrax scare about coming through the mail, many people think that anthrax is a substance. Well, they’re wrong. This disease is caused by the virus Bacillus anthracis, and is not necessarily a substance. The virus damages the tissue and the blood vessels of the body it infects. Spores, along with the virus, release toxins that cause this harm. Fortunately, this disease is not contagious and cannot be passed from one person to another.
Who, What, Where
This bug usually contaminates domestic and wild animals that are warm-blooded, such as cats. The animal may be infected in one of three ways. The most common one is through the skin. When a human makes contact with an infected animal, that person has a chance of obtaining the virus. The bacteria lives in the soil during the colder months. In the summer, the spores grow into bacteria. The newly “born” bacteria creep into wild grasses. An animal that eats this tainted grass will most likely consume the bacteria and be infected with the disease. The only way a human can get the anthrax from this kind of infection is eating the meat of the contaminated creature.
When human beings have anthrax, there are several symptoms that are easy to spot. One sign of anthrax is a tiny blemish on the skin. It will grow and become an outsized sore with a shadowy center. Another sign results from eating dirty meat. This can cause inflamed intestine and vomiting, leading to severe diarrhea. The third and final symptom is noticeable at a swift pace. It comes from drawing in spores when taking a breath. It will begin with trouble breathing. Next, the skin will turn a sick, blue color. Yet another mark of anthrax is internal bleeding. Like all diseases, see your doctor immediately! There are little treatments for anthrax after the infection, such as antibiotics, but prevention is easy if you are not yet infected. If a person has a risk to get this disease, like a farmer, they can be treated with vaccines that decrease the possibility of this virus. Because this disease is uncommon, only people handling animal produce should be concerned, and even then it is rare.
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