Why has anthrax become a current topic?
Anthrax is considered to be a potential agent for use in biological warfare. The Department of Defense has started a mandatory vaccination of all active duty military personnel who might be involved in a conflict. In a bioterrorist attack, inhalation is the most likely route. Who gets anthrax? Anthrax is primarily an occupational disease. It is occasionally identified in persons who are exposed to dead animals, or animal products such as wool and hair. How is anthrax spread? The anthrax bacteria can live in the soil for many years. A person may become infected with anthrax by inhaling contaminated soil particles, or by handling wool or hair from diseased animals. Infection of the intestinal tract can occur by eating undercooked meat from diseased animals. It is rare to find infected animals in the United States. What are the symptoms of anthrax? The symptoms vary depending upon the type of exposure. With skin exposure, a boil-like lesion appears which eventually forms an ulcer, with a