Transmission and Symptoms of Anthrax in Humans - Medic Quotes
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Saturday, July 6, 2019

Transmission and Symptoms of Anthrax in Humans

Anthrax is a serious disease causedby Bacillus anthracis .This bacterium is commonly found in the soil . Although it usually affects animals, anthrax can also attack humans.

Anthrax attacks livestock or wild animals, such as cattle, sheep, goats, camels, horses, and pigs. Infection can occur when the animal inhales or swallows bacterial spores in the soil, plants, or water that has been contaminated with anthrax bacteria.

Anthrax is more common in developing countries and countries that do not have regular animal vaccination programs.

Anthrax in Indonesia

Anthrax is still an endemic disease in Indonesia. Cases of anthrax disease are still reported to appear in several regions, namely Yogyakarta, Gorontalo, West Sulawesi, South Sulawesi, Central Java, East Java, and East Nusa Tenggara. The last case occurred in 2017 in East Java and Yogyakarta.
The anthrax case often appears at the beginning of the year which coincides with the rainy season in Indonesia. The Ministry of Health is also still taking steps to anticipate and monitor anthrax more tightly during the days of religious celebrations, such as Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, where people consume a lot of animal meat in those days.

Transmission of Anthrax to Humans

A person can get anthrax in about 1 to 5 days after being exposed to the anthrax bacteria. When it is in the body, anthrax bacteria will multiply and produce poisons that can cause anthrax.
The process of transmitting anthrax in humans can be through several ways, namely:

Anthrax infection through open sores on the skin

This is the most common method of transmission of anthrax in humans. Symptoms include:

  • A reddish lump appears on the skin, with a blackish center part. This lump feels itchy and sore.
  • Swelling and pain in the lymph nodes around the infected skin.
  • Muscle ache.
  • Fever.
  • Limp.
  • Nauseous vomit.

Anthrax infection through the respiratory tract

This can happen when a person breathes air contaminated with anthrax bacteria, so that bacteria can enter the lungs. Signs of someone getting anthrax by air are:

  • Sore throat .
  • Hard to breathe.
  • High fever.
  • Discomfort in the chest.
  • Muscle ache.
  • Pain when swallowing.
  • Nausea.
  • Coughing up blood .

Although treatment has been carried out, fatal complications due to anthrax infection in the respiratory tract sometimes still occur.

Anthrax infection through the digestive tract

Drinking water or eating meat that has been infected with anthrax bacteria without processing it until cooked can also make someone infected with this disease. Contamination through this method will attack the organs in the digestive system. Some of the symptoms of anthrax that attack the digestive tract are:

  • Fever .
  • Nausea.
  • Gag.
  • Appetite disappears.
  • Diarrhea with blood .
  • Throat pain
  • Difficult to swallow.
  • Stomach ache .
  • Headache.

Besides through the three methods above, bacteria that cause anthrax can also enter the human body through needles. Transmission of anthrax disease through this method usually occurs in injecting drug users who use syringes alternately.

Treatment and Prevention of Anthrax

Anthrax can be cured by giving antibiotics and poisonous substances to neutralize toxins from the anthrax bacteria. However, despite treatment, fatal complications due to anthrax infection still occur.

Therefore, it will be much better if this disease can be prevented. The method is by:

  • Vaccinating anthrax in humans and livestock.
  • Avoid direct contact with livestock or wild animals that have not been vaccinated.
  • Cook the meat until it's completely cooked.

If not treated immediately, anthrax can cause severe complications, such as sepsis , meningitis , to death. Therefore, if you experience symptoms of anthrax after eating animal meat or contact with livestock or wild animals, consult a doctor immediately.

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