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Anthrax Outbreak

Anthrax Outbreak:

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported a significant anthrax outbreak in Zambia, marking an alarming spread of the disease across nine out of the country’s ten provinces.

  • Anthrax is a highly infectious disease that is caused by the gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis.
  • It affects animals like cows, sheep, and goats, as well as wild herbivores.
  • Even humans can get sick if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products.
  • Anthrax bacteria also occur naturally in soil.
  • The disease manifests in three forms depending on the route of infection: cutaneous, gastrointestinal, and inhalational.
  • Cutaneous anthrax, the most common form, presents with itchy bumps that develop into black sores, often accompanied by fever and muscle aches.
  • It can be diagnosed by identifying Bacillus anthracis in blood, skin lesions, or respiratory secretions through laboratory culture, PCR, or ELISA tests.
  • While there is no specific test to determine exposure to anthrax, public health investigations play a crucial role in identifying potential cases.
  • It is available and includes antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, or levofloxacin.