New Bacterial Illness!!!

Anthrax

A little bit about this illness:

Anthrax is a disease with rapid onset caused by the bacterium bacillus anthracis. Usually infection develops in plant eating mammals that eat or breathe in the spores while grazing.Carnivores living in the same environment may become infected by eating infected animals. Diseased animals can spread anthrax to humans, either through direct contact or by eating raw or undercooked meat from infected animals. Disturbed grave sites of infected animals have been known to cause infection over 70 years after the animal's death.
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Things you should know:

  • Pathophysiology: Inhalational anthrax occurs after a person inhales spores into the lungs. Primate studies suggest that the minimum infective dose ranges from 4000-8000 inhaled spores. Inhaled spores are ingested by pulmonary macrophages and then carried to hilar and mediastinal lymph nodes. The incubation period is 1-6 days.The spores undergo germination and multiplication and begin to elaborate toxins. Anthrax in the lungs does not cause pneumonia, but it does cause hemorrhagic mediastinitis and pulmonary edema. Hemorrhagic pleural effusions frequently accompany inhalational anthrax. After the lymph nodes become overwhelmed, bacteremia and death quickly ensue. Without treatment, the mortality rate of inhalational anthrax is approximately 95%.


  • Manifestations: initial manifestations are Myalgia, Malaise, Fatigue, Nonproductive cough, Sensation of retrosternal pressure, and Fever. Transient clinical improvement may occur after the first few days, followed by rapid progression and clinical deterioration in which the following signs and symptoms may be present: High fever, Severe shortness of breath, Tachypnea, Cyanosis, Profuse diaphoresis, Hematemesis, Chest pain, which may be severe enough to mimic acute myocardial infarction, Decreased level of consciousness, meningismus, and coma (with meningeal involvement)! and Shock.



  • Complications: The most serious complication of anthrax is inflammation of the membranes and fluid covering the brain and spinal cord, leading to massive bleeding (hemorrhagic meningitis) and death.


But there's no need to fear! There is a treatment!

Treatment: In May 2009, Human Genome Sciences submitted a Biological license application (BLA, permission to market) for its new drug, raxibacumab (brand name ABthrax) intended for emergency treatment of inhaled anthrax. On 14 December 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration approved raxibacumab injection to treat inhalational anthrax. Raxibacumab is a monoclonol antibody that neutralizes toxins produced by B. anthracis. Treatment for anthrax infection and other bacterial infections includes large doses of intravenous and oral antibiotics

Who is at risk?

  • peple who handle animal products
  • Veterinarians
  • Livestock producers
  • Travelers
  • Laboratory Professionals
  • Mail handlers, military personnel, And response workers who may be exposed during a bioterror event involving anthrax spores