Anthrax – China
A 14-year-old boy and a 35-year-old man in China have been infected with Anthrax after slaughtering sick cattle at the boy’s home. The boy died from his infection.
The 35-year-old man slaughtered sick cattle at the home of the boy in late July, an incident which is seen as the source of the outbreak. The boy died in August, while the man was transferred to an infectious disease hospital for isolation and treatment.
In total one person died, and 24 close contact individuals have to undergo a 12 day quarantine at home, while nine additional contact person have to isolate in special facilities.
Photo: Bacillus anthracis from an agar culture with spores (blue).
Anthrax is an infection caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. It can occur in four forms: skin, lungs, intestinal, and injection. Anthrax is spread by contact with the bacterium’s spores, which often appear in infectious animal products.
The skin form presents with a small blister with surrounding swelling that often turns into a painless ulcer with a black center.
The inhalation form presents with fever, chest pain, and shortness of breath.
The intestinal form presents with diarrhea which may contain blood, abdominal pains, nausea, and vomiting.
The injection form presents with fever and an abscess at the site of drug injection.
Human anthrax is most common in Africa and central and southern Asia, though it can occur anywhere. Skin infections represent more than 95% of cases.
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