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Anthrax Cutaneous - Symptoms & Treatment


Anthrax cutaneous is an uncommon cutaneous (skin) infection due to a bacterium (Bacillus anthracis) that is found in the environment and typically causes illlness in animals. In 20% of UN-treated individuals, the infection may spread through the bloodstream and become fatal. In some cases, the infection can spread through the bloodstream and become fatal. Cutaneous anthrax occurs after the bacteria touches a cut or scrape on the skin. After about two weeks, an itchy sore develops, similar to an insect bite. This sore may blister and form a black ulcer, which is usually painless. Usually within two weeks, an itchy skin lesion develops (similar to an insect bite). This lesion may later blister and then break down, resulting in a black ulcer, which is frequently painless. Deaths from cutaneous anthrax are extremely rare, as long as patients are treated promptly with antibiotics. Most cutaneous anthrax infections occur when people touch animal products (like wool, bone, hair, and hide) that come from an animal that died of anthrax.

The cutaneous (skin) form of anthrax starts as a red-brown raised spot that enlarges with considerable redness around it, blistering, and hardening. Cutaneous anthrax would most likely occur by direct contact of anthrax spores with non-intact skin. Anthrax is a potential agent for use as a biological weapon or for bio-terrorism. Symptoms usually occur within seven days. Initial symptoms of cutaneous anthrax may include "flu-like" symptoms, such as a low-grade fever and general fatigue. Cases of naturally occurring cutaneous anthrax are treated with a 10-14 day course of antibiotics. If you develop cutaneous anthrax, the drainage from the open sore presents a low risk of infection to others.

Causes of Anthrax Cutaneous

The common causes and risk factor's of Anthrax Cutaneous include the following:

  • Direct contact with the bacteria Bacillus anthracis.
  • Contact with animal hides or hair, bone products, and wool, as well as contact with infected animals.
  • The infection occurs when the bacteria enter a cut or scratch in the skin.
  • Anthrax cutaneous would most likely occur by direct contact of anthrax spores with non-intact skin.
  • The infection may spread through the bloodstream and become fatal.

Symptoms of Anthrax Cutaneous

Some symptoms related to Anthrax Cutaneous are as follows:

  • Swollen, painful lymph nodes.
  • Papule, blister, ulcer with black scab; often with extensive surrounding swelling.
  • Headache.
  • "Flu-like" symptoms, such as a low-grade fever and general fatigue.
  • Lymph glands may swell.
  • A common cold.
  • Raised itchy bump.
  • Muscle aches.

Treatment of Anthrax Cutaneous

Here is list of the methods for treating Anthrax Cutaneous:

  • Antibiotics can be effective in treating anthrax cutaneous, if they are started before development of symptoms. The recommended antibiotic is ciprofloxacin (Cipro) or other fluoroquinolones.
  • Penicillin or doxycycline can also be effective.
  • A fluoroquinolone should be used for the treatment of anthrax cutaneous because of its penetration across the blood-brain barrier Some have advocated the use of steroids to prevent edema and toxic effects.

 

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