(2) The inhalation form of anthrax. The dust-containing spores that the
person inhaled are deposited in the lung alveoli; then they spread through the
lymphatics causing bacteremia or toxemia. In the beginning, the symptoms are mild,
non-specific, and resemble a common upper respiratory infection. Following this
however, there are more acute symptoms of respiratory distress and mediastinal
widening (shown on x-rays). Fever and shock follow in 3 to 5 days, and death occurs
(3) Intestinal anthrax. Although this form of anthrax is rare and also difficult
to recognize, it has a tendency to occur in explosive outbreaks. The victim suffers
abdominal distress, fever, and signs of septicemia with death following in typical cases.
c. Treatment. The drug of choice used in treating anthrax is penicillin G
(penicillin). Tetracycline HC1 (Tetracyn) or another broad-spectrum antibiotic may also
(1) High-risk personnel should be immunized with a cell free vaccine. This
vaccine is prepared from a culture filtrate that contains the protective antigen and
protects personnel in preventing cutaneous and probably inhalation anthrax.
(2) Educate the personnel who handle potentially contaminated articles
about modes of anthrax transmission. Stress personal cleanliness.
(3) Ensure proper ventilation and dust control in those industries where raw
animal fibers are handled. In cases of suspicious skin lesions, have employees seek
medical care and continue the medical supervision of all personnel. Provide adequate
facilities for washing and changing clothes after work. Employees should use protective
clothing during working hours).
Wash and sterilize hair, hides, wool, bone meal, or other feed prior to
(5) If an animal has been exposed to anthrax, do not seek the hides or use
the carcasses for food or feed supplements.
(6) When the first animals die of suspected anthrax, conduct a postmortem
examination and take care not to contaminate the soil or environment with infected
tissues or blood. Burn the carcasses or prepare a deep burial in the exact place of
death (use anhydrous calcium oxide (quick lime). Use a 5 percent solution of lye for
decontaminating soil that was seeded with the animal's bodily discharges.
(7) Vaccinate immediately all animals at risk. Use penicillin or tetracyclines
for symptomatic animals.