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Infectious Diseases :

Anthrax is an infectious and potentially fatal disease of warm-blooded animals, especially of cattle and sheep, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. It is communicable, albeit occasionally, to the human population.

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1. Which doctor should I consult for Anthrax?

A general physician or infectious disease specialist is the doctor to consult if Anthrax is suspected or diagnosed.

2. If infected how long does it take for symptoms to develop?

It takes around 1 to 6 days after exposure for anthrax symptoms to develop. However inhalational type of anthrax progresses very rapidly and can cause death within a day or two if not treated aggressively. For gastrointestinal anthrax, the case-fatality rate is estimated to be 25%-60% and the effect of early antibiotic treatment on that case-fatality rate is not defined. Early treatment of cutaneous anthrax is usually curative, and early treatment of all forms is important for recovery. Patients with cutaneous anthrax have reported case fatality rates of 20% without antibiotic treatment and less than 1% with it.

3. Is anthrax contagious?

No. Anthrax is not a contagious disease and the illness cannot be transmitted from person to person.

4. Does a patient have immunity after recovering from anthrax infection?

There is not enough data at this time to confirm this, however, it is theoretically possible to gain post-infection immunity.

5. How can I prevent Anthrax after an exposure ?

Treatment is different for a person who is exposed to anthrax, but is not yet sick. Health-care providers will use antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, or penicillin) combined with the anthrax vaccine to prevent anthrax infection.

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