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Anthrax Essay

1384 words - 6 pages

Anthrax: Controversial and Puzzling Shortly after the most horrific events ever to happen in the United States took place, the citizens of this great country were faced with another scare that is simply beyond belief. Bioterrorism scares are rising in numbers locally, statewide and around the country. ?Anthrax is being used as ?psychological warfare,? not as a weapon of destruction but as a weapon symbolizing ?fear?(CBS anchor Rather calls anthrax ?psychological warfare,? 3-4). This fear will cause chaos and disorder wherever it is introduced. People must step back and look carefully at this controversial and yet extremely puzzling situation as it infiltrates the lives and workplaces of many American citizens.Anthrax is being inserted into envelopes and being mailed to certain businesses and government offices. These envelopes contain this infectious disease and sometimes a threatening note. For example, ?an assistant to NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw contracted skin anthrax after opening what was described as a threatening letter. Two other major networks were apparently targeted. They were CBS and ABC?(7-10). It is still unknown who is behind this puzzling act of terror and if all of these cases are connected, but our nation is taking every precaution to stop it.?Anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis? (10 things you need to know about anthrax, 1). ?This disease can only occur in three forms: cutaneous (skin), inhalation, and gastrointestinal. The symptoms of anthrax vary depending on how the disease was contracted, but symptoms usually occur within seven days? (3-4). ?Cutaneous anthrax infections occur when the bacterium enters a cut or abrasion on the skin. It begins as a raised itchy bump that resembles an insect bite, but soon turns in to a painless ulcer, usually one to three centimeters in diameter, usually with a black center in the middle. Lymph glands in the adjacent area may swell. About 20 percent of untreated cases result in death. The employee at NBC who contracted anthrax has cutaneous anthrax? (4).?Inhalation anthrax comes with initial symptoms that may resemble a common cold, but lead too severe breathing problems and shock after several days. Unfortunately, this form of anthrax is usually fatal. An employee of a Florida tabloid publishing company contracted inhalation anthrax and died. Intestinal anthrax follows the consumption of contaminated meat and is characterized by an acute inflammation of the intestinal tract. Initial signs include nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting and fever, followed by abdominal pain, vomiting blood and severe diarrhea. Between 25 and 60 percent of cases are fatal? (4).Considering how one could obtain this disease, it should ease people?s nerves and help calm down the hysteria. People are being too cautious with everything that is mysterious and unknown to them. There are treatments to help stop this infectious disease and it is only fatal if left...

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