Anthrax is basically a contagious disease. The name of the agent is Bacillusantracis. It is normally the disease of the herbivory animals like sheep, goat, cattle and cows. The infection is coincidentally comtaminated to the people touching the meat, wool or skin of the sick animals. Since it is frequently observed on the hands, it should be seperated from the other wounds or tumors.
WHAT IS THE CAUSE?
While the anthrax cannot be eliminated completely, it is an infection diseases reducing day by day in the world. The disease is contaminated from the animals (mostly f sheep, goat, cattle and cow) to the people by touching or even rarely, by digestive system. In accordance with the contamination sources, the disease may be originating from industryi agriculture or laboratory.
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The anthrax cases seen in our country are generally agriculture based. It is developed upon touching the sick animals. The cutaneous anthrax (on the hands) is observed as a result of the interventions including direct touch like cutting, skinning or chopping the dead sick animals. It also develops though digestive system after eating the sick meat. That’s why, the risk grouos are the people dealing with stockbreeding, the butchers and the veterinarian.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
There are clinically three types of diseases in accordance with the contamination type of the anthrax spores to the human body:
1- Cutaneous anthrax,
2- Lung anthrax,
3- Digestive system anthrax.
In case of spread of this disease though blood, some fatal diseases like menengitis or sepsis may occur. This case is rarely seen.
Today, 95% of the human anthrax seen thoughout the world is cutaneous anthrax.
The spores entering the body though a scar or laceration on the skin causes burning ant itching on the wound. Inside of the wound turns into a bloody black blister. This is called vesicle, it is edematous and rubescent. The vesicle bursts in time and eschar called black crusty wound tissue occurds instead.
HOW TO DIAGNOSE?
The samples taken from the wound or sputum, vomit and stool in accordance with the condition of the disease can produce agents with gram stain and methylene blue. The agent can develop on the plate with blood. The antibody can increase in titer with the ELISA test in the blood.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?
Penicilin is the first medicine to be used. For the patients allergic to penicilin, erythromycin, tetracycline, chloramphenicol or first generation cephalosporin can be used alternatively.
Surgical intervention (insicion, excision etc.) should not be performed in the cutaneous anthrax. It will be sufficient to make dressing or gauze bandage implementation.
The animals and the people under risk should be vaccinated. Besides, the meat of the animal died of this disease should not be eaten and the carcase should be buried deeply with lime.