18 Facts About Anthrax


Anthrax is an infection caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis.

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Anthrax is spread by contact with the bacterium's spores, which often appear in infectious animal products.

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Anthrax vaccination is recommended for people at high risk of infection.

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Anthrax has been developed as a weapon by a number of countries.

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Anthrax was historically known by a wide variety of names indicating its symptoms, location and groups considered most vulnerable to infection.

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Anthrax'storically, inhalational anthrax was called woolsorters' disease because it was an occupational hazard for people who sorted wool.

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Anthrax can enter the human body through the intestines, lungs (inhalation), or skin (cutaneous) and causes distinct clinical symptoms based on its site of entry.

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Anthrax can be contracted in laboratory accidents or by handling infected animals, their wool, or their hides.

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Anthrax cannot be spread from person to person, except in the rare case of skin exudates from cutaneous anthrax.

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Anthrax's pioneering work in the late 19th century was one of the first demonstrations that diseases could be caused by microbes.

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Anthrax posed a major economic challenge in France and elsewhere during the 19th century.

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Anthrax prepared two groups of 25 sheep, one goat, and several cattle.

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Anthrax used his celebrity status to establish Pasteur Institutes across Europe and Asia, and his nephew, Adrien Loir, travelled to Australia in 1888 to try to introduce the vaccine to combat anthrax in New South Wales.

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Anthrax spores have been used as a biological warfare weapon.

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Anthrax was first tested as a biological warfare agent by Unit 731 of the Japanese Kwantung Army in Manchuria during the 1930s; some of this testing involved intentional infection of prisoners of war, thousands of whom died.

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Anthrax, designated at the time as Agent N, was investigated by the Allies in the 1940s.

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Anthrax is especially rare in dogs and cats, as is evidenced by a single reported case in the United States in 2001.

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Anthrax outbreaks occur in some wild animal populations with some regularity.

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