How do you get anthrax? There are three forms: ...cutaneous (skin) through contact ...inhaled ...ingested, intestinal
The concern in America right now is if someone, such as terrorists,
want to attack the population with anthrax, how would they do
it. Through items in the mail? Through spraying from the
air such as with cropdusting airplanes? Other contamination of
water or food supply?
What are the symptoms of
anthrax? They vary depending on how
someone came into contact with it, but usually appear within 7 days. Cutaneous (skin
contact) Begins as a raised itchy bump that resembles an insect bite. Within 1-2 days develops into a vesicle and then a painless ulcer, usually 1-3 cm in
diameter. The scab that typically forms over the lesion can be black as coal, hence the name anthrax - Greek for coal. Lymph glands in the adjacent area may swell.
Inhaled Initial symptoms may resemble a common cold. After several days, the symptoms may progress to severe breathing problems and shock.
Intestinal (ingested) 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.
Is anthrax contagious? Can
one person with anthrax give it to another person?
The CDC says it's
Was anthrax created by
terrorists? Does it occur in nature?
There are said to be
supplies of anthrax that might be used by terrorists, but anthrax
does exist among some animals and in some agricultural areas.
How is anthrax diagnosed? Through a blood test for
the presence of the bacterium that causes it.
What are the treatments for
preferably as quickly as possible.
Is anthrax always fatal? Fatality depends on the
type of anthrax contracted and how quickly treatment is
What constitutes a "suspicious parcel?"
Some typical characteristics Postal Inspectors have detected over the years, which ought to trigger suspicion, include parcels that:
...Have any powdery substance on the outside.
...Are unexpected or from someone unfamiliar to you.
...Have excessive postage, handwritten or poorly typed address, incorrect titles or titles with no name, or misspellings of common words.
...Are addressed to someone no longer with your organization or are otherwise outdated.
...Have no return address, or have one that can't be verified as legitimate.
...Are of unusual weight, given their size, or are lopsided or oddly shaped.
...Have an unusual amount of tape.
...Are marked with restrictive endorsements, such as "Personal" or "Confidential."