Anthrax is defined as an infectious disease that is caused by a certain type of rod-shaped bacteria called Bacillus anthracis. The name of the bacteria comes from the Greek word for coal, due to the ulcers with dark centers that form on the skin of those with the disease. Carnivorous animals are often infected with the disease, as opposed to humans. However, these animals can transmit the bacteria, Bacillus anthracis, to humans, therefore causing humans to suffer from the same infection.
In 1491 B.C., Anthrax was recorded in the Book of Genesis as the fifth plague. It had been described that the disease was first noticed in animals when it killed an Egyptian cattle. After this had occurred, outbreaks of Anthrax began appearing in civilizations where Hindus, Greeks, and Romans lived. The first recorded outbreaks for humans occurred in European industries, where people worked with wool and bones of dead animals. This happened around the 1800s and was caused by Inhalation Anthrax and Cutaneous Anthrax, two types of the disease. Later, in America, people began to become infected with the disease by handling materials contaminated with animal fibers. In 1881, a Pasteur attempted to create a vaccine that would prevent people from becoming infected with the disease, which was used until later, in 1939 when Max Sterne, an immunologist, created a new one. His vaccine consisted of a spore suspension of a virulent, non-encapsulated live strain of Bacillus anthracis that is still used today.
Anthrax, currently, is commonly found in agricultural regions such as Central and South America, Central and Southwestern Asia, Southern and Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Caribbean. Although this specific disease is not extremely common in the United States, sporadic outbreaks do occur from time to time in animals.
In all living beings, Bacillus athracis produces inactive spores that live underground for an extremely long period of time, possibly decades, but when the spores enter the body, they are exposed to water, sugar and other nutrients, allowing the bacteria to thrive as well as reproduce. Anthrax spreads throughout various types of animals, such as cattle, sheep, goats, and deer who often obtain the disease through breathing it in or digesting specific types of soil that are contaminated with it. When humans come in contact with these animals, spores are capable of entering the human body, causing the bacteria to become provided with a moist environment where they can multiply, spread, and produce toxins, which are very harmful toward humans.
There exist several types of Anthrax, including Cutaneous Anthrax, Inhalation Anthrax, Gastrointestinal Anthrax, and Injection Anthrax. Each type is named by the way the infection enters the body. Humans, through a cut or scrape, can receive Cutaneous Anthrax, a type of Anthrax that is not contagious. This kind of Anthrax is the most common, but also the least dangerous. When a person handles...