by AK Team
Anthrax is a rare but very serious and highly contagious type of bacterial infection that occurs in individuals. Anthrax is highly contagious and is caused by a gram – positive bacteria that is rod – shaped.
The bacteria that causes this kind of bacterial infection belongs to a bacterial family named Bacillus. The species that causes this type of bacterial infection is named as Bacillus anthracis. These kind of bacteria are spore – forming bacteria
This type of bacterial can usually be found naturally in the soil and it commonly affects some domestic and wild animals that are present all over the world. Humans that are affected by this kind of bacterial infection get infected either by direct contact or by indirect contact with the infected domestic animals or wild animals.
There are very rare cases in which the human – to – human infection occurs in this kind of bacterial disease. The human – to – human spread of the disease is possible in case of skin lesion that are highly contagious. Usually this type of bacterial infection enters the healthy human body through an infected cut or wound. Another way of transmission of this kind of bacterial disease through which a person gets infected by this is either by drinking contaminated water or by eating contaminated meat or by inhaling the spores of the bacteria (as this is a spore forming bacteria).
Though there are various treatments that are available for a person who is infected by this kind of bacterial infection, but the kind of treatment a person receives entirely depends on the mode of transmission of the disease. The inhaled type of transmission of the disease is the most difficult type to treat and it can be very fatal as well and can eventually lead to death. The most common type of treatment is the antibiotics course as this is a bacterial infection
TYPES OF ANTHRAX
The type of anthrax indicates the mode of infection through which this kind of bacterial disease is caused and also the site at which it is caused. There are basically four types of anthrax that are currently present. The four types of this kind of bacterial disease are listed below :
- This cutaneous anthrax is the most common form of this kind of bacterial disease
- This is the least dangerous type of bacterial infection that can be caused.
- The incubation period of the time of onset of this kind of bacterial infection is almost about 1 to 7 days from the day of exposure to the bacteria or the bacterial spores
- This kind of bacterial infection is caused when the bacteria or the bacterial spores come in contact with the infected wound or cut in a person. This can eventually lead to cutaneous anthrax
- This kind of bacterial disease is usually caused by the inhalation (as the name itself suggests “inhalation”) of the bacterial spores
- This form of the bacterial disease primarily starts in the lymph nodes that are present in the chest before it spreads throughout the entire body
- This type can lead to serious breathing issues in individuals
- If this type of bacterial disease is left untreated for a longer period of time than usual then it can be fatal as well
- This type of bacterial infection occurs when a healthy individual comes in contact with an infected domestic animal or wild animal
- This can happen when a person eats raw or undercooked meat from a domestic animal or a wild animal who is already infected by this kind of bacterial infection
- After being ingested these bacterial spores can eventually affect the upper gastrointestinal tract that is the throat and esophagus, stomach and intestines as well
- If left untreated then this kind can also lead to severe complications in the body.
- This is a very rare form of this kind of bacterial infection and individuals who inject heroin in there body are most likely to be affected by this kind of bacterial infection.
- This kind of bacterial infection can be very fatal and can eventually lead to death if it is not diagnosed and treated at the correct time.
STAGES OF ANTHRAX
The stage of this kind of bacterial infection basically indicate the phase at which the person is currently suffering and also helps in determining the severity of the disease, that is how mild or how severe is the disease. There are basically three stages of this kind of bacterial infection. The three stages or phases of this kind of bacterial infection are listed below :
Early – prodromal stage :
- This is the initial phase of this type of bacterial infection
- This stage usually occurs within 24 – 48 hours after coming in contact either with the spores of the bacteria or with the bacteria itself.
- The symptoms that occur in this stage of the disease are usually very non – specific and might include symptom s like fever, dyspnea, cough, headache, vomiting etc.
- In some cases the patient might show transient improvement after 2 – 4 days
Intermediate – progressive
- If the early – prodromal stage is left untreated or a longer period of time then the infected person might proceed to next stage that is the intermediate – progressive stage.
- In this stage the symptoms proceed more further and become more specific
- In this stage the infected person also has positive blood cultures and mediastinal adenopathy
- If diagnosed and treated in this stage at the proper time, there are still chances for the disease to get cured
- The most common treatment that a person receives is an antibiotics treatment
Late – fulminant
- This is probably the last stage of this kind of bacterial infection that is caused in individuals.
- In this stage symptoms like meningitis, respiratory failure (various respiratory diseases like pneumonia, etc. ) can be caused
- If the disease is not diagnosed and treated in this stage as well then there are maximal chances of the disease to be fatal and may eventually lead to death
SYMPTOMS OF ANTHRAX
There are various symptoms that a person experiences while being infected by this kind of bacterial disease. Some of the common signs and symptoms of this disease are listed below :
- Chills at night
- Discomfort in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Extreme tiredness
- Body aches
CAUSES OF ANTHRAX
- The most common cause of this kind of bacterial disease is the causative agent of this disease that is Bacillus anthrax
- This disease usually occurs in wild animals or in domestic animals
- This disease can be transmitted to human when a healthy human intakes uncooked meat of the infected animal
- Another cause of transmission of this kind of bacterial disease is by inhalation of spores of the bacteria
- this bacterial especially occurs in individuals whose immune system are compressed (this might be due to HIV/AIDS)