How Does Anthrax Disease Effect the Body?


Quick Answer

Anthrax is an infectious bacterial disease that is activated when it enters the body of a human or another animal and releases toxins, according to the CDC. Different types of anthrax exposure cause respiratory, gastrointestinal or cutaneous problems. While anthrax infections are often fatal, early diagnosis and treatment may reduce the chances of death by up to 47 percent, according to Wikipedia.

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Full Answer

According to the CDC, anthrax spores may be inhaled, eaten or come into contact with the skin. Each type of exposure causes specific symptoms in patients. Inhaled anthrax causes a respiratory infection that appears similar to a cold or flu at first, but then progresses to pneumonia and respiratory collapse if left untreated. Skin exposure causes a skin infection and is also called Hide Porter's disease. The infection creates a skin lesion that forms an ulcer with a black center and eventually causes severe skin necrosis around the infected area. Cutaneous anthrax infections are reported to be painless and rarely fatal if treated. Gastrointestinal anthrax infections are caused by ingesting food containing anthrax. This is the rarest form of anthrax infection and causes symptoms such as vomiting of blood, inflammation of the intestinal tract, extreme gastrointestinal difficulty and severe diarrhea.

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