How is anthrax treated?

Okan University Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Specialist Prof. Dr. Okan University Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Specialist. Dr. Nail Özgüneş explained for readers.

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Anthrax, which is among the diseases transmitted from animals to humans, is transmitted to humans most in contact with animals. Although it is not transmitted from person to person, touching the lesion on the skin of the patient can also lead to the transmission of anthrax.

Especially people who work with livestock, butchers and veterinarians are at risk for anthrax disease.

Anthrax is seen in herbivorous animals such as cows, sheep and goats. This group of diseases is called “zoonosis”. Unlike the tetanus bacillus, this bacterium is an oxygen-loving bacterium that reproduces well in an oxygenated environment.

Anthrax disease is divided into 3 groups according to the place of occurrence.

Dermal anthrax: Most common through the skin; People who are engaged in animal husbandry and dealing with animal meat can be infected very easily. Moreover; With the picture of pulmonary anthrax, intestinal anthrax and anthrax sepsis, severe disease that affects even the brain may occur. Dermal anthrax is the most common type of anthrax in humans.

Skin manifestation of anthrax : Clinically, skin anthrax presents as malignant edema, and a black scar forms in the middle of this lesion. This is called a “black bubble”. This is quite diagnostic. In addition, laboratory tests cannot be very helpful in diagnosis.

Intestinal anthrax: This type of anthrax is transmitted when meat is eaten. The infection settles in the intestines. It is manifested by nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever and diarrhea.

Lung anthrax: It is transmitted by respiratory tract from animals with anthrax. It starts like a cold. High fever, chills and difficulty in breathing are observed.

How is anthrax treated?

In order for the treatment to work in a person with anthrax, treatment should be started as soon as possible. Because the time lost in anthrax is vital.

Therefore, it is necessary to consult a hospital as soon as symptoms are seen or suspected.

After the diagnosis is made, it is appropriate for the patient to be treated as an inpatient. Anthrax is not a disease that can be treated at home. A hospital environment is absolutely necessary against the risk of contamination.

Many antibiotics are effective in the treatment of anthrax. The mortality rate of cutaneous anthrax is very low, but intestinal and lung anthrax has a high fatality risk.

How should precautions be taken to prevent anthrax?

Occupations such as butchery, veterinary medicine, slaughterhouse workers and leather workers are in the anthrax risk group. For this reason, people who do these professions should definitely take protective measures such as gloves and masks while working.

  • Anthrax risk areas should be investigated and quarantined.
  • On a large scale, animal herds should be thoroughly checked and vaccinated.
  • If there are animals determined to have anthrax, they should never be slaughtered or skinned.
  • Animals that die from anthrax should be destroyed under the supervision of municipal employees. The places where sick animals are found should be disinfected.
  • Substances such as manure and feed that anthrax animals come into contact with should be destroyed by burning.
  • Care should be taken not to buy and consume animal products from unknown places, especially during periods of anthrax danger and in daily life.
  • Meat should be bought from butchers and markets you trust.
  • At the same time, it is necessary not to consume poorly cooked or undercooked meat during this period.
  • In order to be protected from anthrax, it is necessary to approach cautiously, stay away and be careful not only from animals, but also from animal products.
  • Care should be taken even for brushes, clothing and shoes made from anthrax animal hair.
  • In this sense, make-up materials made from animal products also have the danger of anthrax.

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