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TinWiki: Anthrax

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posted on Jul, 9 2009 @ 08:48 PM
Anthrax is an acute disease in humans and animals caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, with about 89 known strains. Bacillus anthracis migrates in the form of a spore. The name Anthrax is derived from the Greek word Anthrakitis Eng- Anthracite (coal) probably from the black colored lesions that it can cause.

How animals become infected

Animals usually contract the disease from picking up the spores from the Earth’s soil and vegetation whilst foraging. It has been proven that the Pathogenic Bacillus Anthracis bacteria can survive in spore form in the soil for up-to 70 years. The only place in the World where the bacteria can not survive is Antarctica.

History of Anthrax

Many Scholars agree that the Bible makes reference to Anthrax in “Exodus” as the Sixth Plague which killed livestock and affected people with black spots. It is also suggested that Egypt’s “plague of boils” and Homer’s “burning plague” in Iliad were attributed to this disease.

In humans, Anthrax can be acquired by working with wool and animal fur pelts. In the 1800’s in England, Anthrax was called rag pickers disease or wool sorters disease as it was generally people in those trades that acquired the disease. It was also contracted by people working in the animal hide industry. It can also be contracted by the consumption of infected meat if undercooked.

Affects on humans

In humans it can occur in any of the following forms:


Affects the respiratory system once the spores have been inhaled, this is the most serious form of the disease and generally always results in death. The affected person will begin to exhibit cold/flu like symptoms during the 24hr period following infection. This will persist for a few days and then a total break-down occurs of the respiratory system leading to death. Even when correctly diagnosed in the early stages, there is no effective treatment and death will almost certainly follow.


Affects the skin when the spore has entered the body via an open lesion. Approximately 2 – 5 days after initial infection, a boil begins to grow which is usually painless but itches, it later collapses forming an open ulcer type sore which is black in color. With early diagnosis and correct treatment, this form of the disease rarely proves to be fatal.


Affects the stomach and intestines once the spore has entered the gastrointestinal system orally. This is usually due to eating infected foodstuffs, especially meat. Once in the system the bacteria will affect the victim’s mouth, throat, stomach, intestine, bowels and will be absorbed into the blood stream where it will seek out the Lymphatic’s, then multiplying rapidly. The bacteria can be passed out of the body in vomit, urine and faeces where it will continue to survive. Symptoms are; severe vomiting often containing blood, diahorrea and an inflammation of the intestine. Treatment with Antibiotics such as Penicillin can be effective if administered early enough. The expected survival rate from this type of infection is approximately 50%.

Treatment of Anthrax

The preferred way to treat anthrax is with antibiotics. The goal of antibiotics is to destroy the infection and prevent complications and death. The following Antibiotics can be used in the treatment of this disease: Penicillin, Amoxicillin, Doxycycline, Ampicillin, Ciproflaxin, Levoflaxin & Gatifloxacin. In serious cases these must be administered through I.V and the treatment can take months to be successful. For people who have potentially been exposed to Anthrax spores, a 60 day course of preventative antibiotics can be administered.

Anthrax as a biological weapon

One of the first cases of countries using Anthrax as a weapon is detailed in British intelligence documents and transcripts of cable intercepts from 1916-1918.The documents reveal how the Germans infected nearly 5,000 mules and horses employed in Mesopotamia and that agents in August 1916 sent anthrax to Romania to infect sheep being transported to Russia. British documents also reveal that German agent Baron Otto Karl Von Rosen was apprehended attempting to infect draft reindeer in Norway with a vial filled with anthrax. Since then the U.S., Britain, Canada and Russia and Japan are all known to have actively developed Anthrax as part of their secret germ warfare programs.

United States of America is the only country known to have an active system in place to detect the shipment of weaponized anthrax via its postal service, the U.S. Postal Service. This is in response to the bioterrorism attacks of the 2001 anthrax letters. The U.S. Postal Service also sterilizes some mail using a process of gamma irradiation or treatment with a proprietary enzyme formula.



Anthrax article
Anthrax history
Anthrax history
Medical article
Food article
Anthrax history
Bioterrorism detection system technology

External links

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