Last updated:09-05-2008
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Definition and causes

Anthrax is a rare but very serious infection, caused by bacterium Bacillus anthracis, Which is mainly infecting more animals as cattle, sheep and horses. From these animals, the bacterium rarely to humans, and in the few cases, the infection occurred through wounds and hudrifter. There are also seen very few cases of anthrax after the intake of highly contaminated meat, but never in Denmark.

Bakterien is able to form so-called spores, which is part of the original bacterium with a multilayer structure, which makes the bacterium resistant to physical and chemical effects. This makes the bacterium able to survive a long time in the open, and when it again will have good conditions to grow, it becomes a real bacterium again. This is a problem, because the spores can be found in dust, particularly from the skin and uldindustrien in Asia and Africa. In rare cases, people have been infected by

Bakterien and the disease does not exist in Denmark, but could in principle be imported to it with cat-and uldprodukter from the above areas.

Symptoms of anthrax

Anthrax infection can be limited to hudområdet, where the infectious agent is penetrated and appears usually 2-3 days after infection. Hudinfektionen begin assmall bladders, Which since flow together into one larger. This burst and wiping and leaves adark area of dying tissuein the centre. The surrounding skin becomesred and itchy. From here, the infection can spread to nearby lymph nodes and blood, which occurs with almensymptomerfeverand discomfort. In the worst cases you get a potentially fatal blood poisoning

Anthrax can also affect the lungs by inhalation of bacteria or bacterial spores. This can give a bleeding pneumonia , Which in many cases is fatal.

Very rarely can be swallowed by the much infected meat get a bleeding diarrhoea , Which is also in almost all cases is fatal.

Precautions and diagnosis

Will Monday infected with anthrax, you are immediately taken to a isolationsafdeling to limit infection. In the case of infected animals are slaughtered and burned them immediately. The diagnosis made on the basis of a microscopic examination of the blood or a bloddyrkning .


Get anthrax, you must first be examined by a specialist with large quantities of penicillin, and the second a wider spectrum antibiotics. It is given directly into a vein. Subsequently, we must also treated for 60 days with additional antibiotics.

Select and complications

The disease is very rare and is not available in Denmark. After the invention of antibiotics is forecast good for the mild form, which only concerns the skin. Pådrager Monday to anthrax in the lungs or gastrointestinal tract, the disease despite antibiotics treatment very seriously, and in many cases fatal.

Prevention of anthrax

In order to avoid infection used masks and gloves when working with imported products from Africa and Asia and contact with infected people. In some countries attempt with a vaccination of humans and animals, but this is no longer used in Denmark.

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