What are the symptoms of anthrax?

Symptoms of disease vary depending on how the disease was contracted, but symptoms usually occur within seven days. Cutaneous Most (about 95%) anthrax infections occur when the bacterium enters a cut or abrasion on the skin, such as when handling contaminated wool, hides, leather or hair products (especially goat hair) of infected animals. Skin infection begins as a raised itchy bump that resembles an insect bite but within one to two days develops into a vesicle and then a painless ulcer, usually 1 - 3 centimeters. In diameter, with a characteristic black necrotic (dying) area in the center. Lymph glands in the adjacent area may swell. About 20% of untreated cases of cutaneous anthrax will result in death. Deaths are rare with appropriate antimicrobial therapy. Inhalation Initial symptoms may resemble a common cold. After several days, the symptoms may progress to severe breathing problems and shock. Inhalation anthrax is usually fatal. Intestinal The intestinal disease form of anthrax may follow the consumption of contaminated meat and is characterized by an acute inflammation of the intestinal tract. Initial signs of nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, fever are followed by abdominal pain, vomiting of blood, and severe diarrhea. Intestinal anthrax results in death in 25 - 60% of cases.

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1. What is anthrax?
2. Why has anthrax become a current issue?
3. How common is anthrax, and who can get it?
4. How is anthrax transmitted?
5. What are the symptoms of anthrax?
6. Where is anthrax usually found?
7. Can anthrax be spread from person-to-person?
8. Is there an incubation period for the infection?
9. Is there a way to prevent infection?
10. What is the anthrax vaccine?
11. Who should get vaccinated against anthrax?
12. What is the protocol for anthrax vaccination?
13. Are there adverse reactions to the anthrax vaccine?
14. Should I ask my physician for prophylactic treatment?
15. How is anthrax diagnosed?
16. Is there a treatment for anthrax?
17. If I believe I have been exposed, who should I contact?
18. Where can I get more information about the recent Department of Defense decision to require men and women in the Armed Services to be vaccinated against anthrax?
19. Where can I obtain more information about anthrax?