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What is Anthrax Disease, and how Deadly this Disease?

Recently Reported Anthrax Disease Outbreak in East & Southern Africa.

The World Health Organization has Recently Reported Outbreaks of Anthrax Disease in East and Southern Africa. Know how Serious this Disease.

The World Health Organization reported on Monday that five countries in eastern and southern Africa are experiencing an outbreak of bacterial anthrax.

Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe have recorded more than 1,100 suspected cases, including 37 confirmed cases and 20 deaths related to the disease, in recent months, the organization says.

Of the five countries, Zambia has seen the largest outbreak of the disease, with nine of its ten provinces affected.

As of November 20, Zambia has reported 684 suspected cases, 25 confirmed cases and four deaths, the World Health Organization says.

What Does Anthrax Do to Humans?

The name of the disease is derived from the Greek word anthrakis, meaning coal, because the version of the disease can cause black skin lesions.

Although cattle are the main victims of anthrax, humans can potentially contract the disease by eating contaminated animals’ products or coming into close contact with sick animals.

Three Symptoms of Anthrax:

The World Health Organization says that anthrax can appear in one of three ways:

Cutaneous Anthrax:

This is the most common and least dangerous of the three methods. this one is the most popular and least risky.

The illness begins as a skin lesion and progresses to a painless lesion with a black core. Following that, some people have nausea, vomiting, fever, and headaches.

Gastrointestinal Anthrax:

In addition to food poisoning, other symptoms of this illness include severe diarrhea, vomiting blood, and severe stomach discomfort.

Pulmonary Anthrax:

This is a more serious version of the disease and initially appears like a common cold, but can quickly turn into severe breathing problems.

How Dangerous is Anthrax?

Individuals with this illness must be admitted to the hospital.

Antibiotics, especially penicillin, are beneficial for anthrax, but treatment should begin soon after infection.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, without treatment, about 20 percent of people infected with cutaneous anthrax die.

Gastrointestinal Anthrax:

The disease is caused by eating raw or undercooked meat and is often fatal.

Without treatment, more than half of patients with this type of disease die. However, 60 percent of patients survive treatment.

Respiratory Anthrax:

Respiratory anthrax is the most deadly form of the disease. The CDC says the disease can be fatal if left undiagnosed, but with prompt treatment, about 55 percent of patients survive.

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