Infectious diseases

Anthrax

Anthrax is an acute infectious disease of zoonotic bacterial groups, occurring in the skin or generalized form, depending on where the introduction of the pathogen. Competent health authorities should be made aware of this disease. Pathogen – Gram-positive motionless spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax bacillus forms spores that can survive in the soil for 10 years.

Symptoms

Cutaneous form:

  • Blisters, swelling, carbuncle.
  • High temperature.

Pulmonary form:

  • Inflammation of the lungs and bronchi.
  • Fever, chills.
  • Phlegm with blood.

Gastrointestinal form:

  • High temperature.
  • Vomiting, and diarrhea.

Causes

Infection usually occurs when the infectious pathogens fall on broken skin on contact with sick animals. Infection is also possible in contact with the products, which are obtained from infected animals, and by inhalation of dust containing anthrax spores. There have been cases of infection transmissibility.

Treatment

The patient are prescribed anthrax serum containing antibodies against anthrax. This treatment is dangerous because immune systems of some people are extremely sensitive to the foreign protein. Another way – large doses of penicillin G. In addition to penicillin anthrax is also sensitive to tetracyclines, chloramphenicol, streptomycin, neomycin.

If you suspect anthrax infection, you should see a doctor immediately.

When the diagnosis is confirmed, the patient is hospitalized, the competent health authorities should be informed.

Course of the disease

There are three forms of the disease, which are characteristic of human.

Cutaneous anthrax

This form occurs 95% of patients. The pathogens penetrate the lesions on the skin. After 1-3 days on-site introduction of the pathogen red spot appears, turns into papule, the last – in a vesicle with hemorrhagic or clear content. A patient with a strong itch breaks the bubble, in its place ulcer is formed with abundant serous discharge. Skin type of anthrax is considered the least dangerous. With a favorable course of the disease, the patient is recovering.

Pulmonary anthrax

Pathogens can get into the blood and lungs. Contamination is possible with inhalation of anthrax spores. Pulmonary form of the disease is sometimes referred to as a “disease of rag pickers.” The pulmonary form occurs extremely hard. The patient has pneumonia and bronchitis, the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract swells, there is dyspnea, cough up sputum contains blood, the temperature rises. The prognosis is poor and often leads to death.

Gastrointestinal anthrax

This form is rare. Infection occurs through eating meat and milk of infected animals without heat treatment. Symptoms of anthrax – high fever, vomiting, very severe diarrhea, stool may contain blood. Recovery is possible. However, in this form of anthrax death sometimes occurs in the first 2-3 days.

Is it a dangerous disease?

When skin form, prognosis is a favourable. Gastrointestinal and pulmonary forms are very dangerous for the patient.

Prevention

Persons, who are at risk of anthrax infection, perform immunizations. When cooking meat of an infected animal, the bacteria are killed within 10 minutes, but the anthrax spores are resistant to cold and disinfectants.