By. MJ & Evan Smith

Causes Of Anthrax

Anthrax is caused by the organism Bacillus anthrasis. In some parts of the world this can be found in cattle or other hoofed mammals. This bacteria can form spores which can either be eaten in contaminated meat, breathed in, or simply through the skin by human or animal direct contact, and is commonly used in bioterrism.

Individuals at higher risk

Anyone who has come into contact with anthrax spores could be at risk. Most people will never be exposed to anthrax. However there are activities that can put some people at greater risk to exposure.

Such as:

People who handle animal products


Live stock producers


Lab proffesinols

Mail handlers and more

Pathophysiology of anthrax

When a person breathes in anthrax spores, they can develop inhalation anthrax. People who work in places such as wool mills, slaughterhouses, and tanneries may breathe in the spores when working with infected animals or contaminated animal products from infected animals. Inhalation anthrax starts primarily in the lymph nodes in the chest before spreading throughout the rest of the body, ultimately causing severe breathing problems and shock.

Inhalation anthrax is considered to be the most deadly form of anthrax. Infection usually develops within a week after exposure, but it can take up to 2 months.

People get infected with anthrax when spores get into the body. When this happens, the spores can be activated and become anthrax bacteria. Then the bacteria can multiply, spread out in the body, produce toxins (poisons), and cause severe illness. This can happen when people breathe in spores, eat food or drink water that is contaminated with spores, or get spores in a cut or scrape in the skin.