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The Federal Government recently announced the outbreak of Anthrax in some African countries and warned citizens against getting contact with animals especially those in the bush. Here are five things to know about the disease.  

Anthrax can stay hidden for years

Anthrax is caused by a bacterium called Bacillus anthracis that occurs naturally in soil. One of the reasons it is such a threat is because the bacteria can stay dormant as highly resistant spores in the soil that can be brought to the surface by rain or tilling the fields. When these spores are eaten by animals they cause an outbreak.

It spreads via spores

Anthrax is not contagious, which means an infected person can’t pass it on to others like a cold or flu. However, people can get sick with anthrax if they come into contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products, and spores get into cuts or scrapes on the person’s skin.

It’s a deadly bioweapon


Anthrax spores are not only easily found in nature, they can be produced in a lab. The spores can be made into powders, sprays or dissolved into water or food, and can be impossible to detect through smell or taste

Anthrax has been deployed as a weapon around the world for nearly a century, and was used in both World Wars.


It can be prevented by a vaccine and treated by antibiotics

The standard treatment for anthrax is an antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin or doxycycline. Since some spores can take up to two months to be activated, people need to take antibiotics for that long to be sure they are protected.


Source: GWG.NG

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