Anthrax – Iraq

September 11, 2021 – An anthrax case was confirmed and reported in Mosul, Iraq after a patient was under medical care for a surgical procedure. The individual reported symptoms of abdominal distention, which was initially believed to be an issue with the appendix. Further test, however, revealed that the patient suffered hemorrhagic complications which is indicative of anthrax.

Anthrax is a bacterial infection that can be passed on from livestock to human. According to the source, anthrax is a type of hemorrhagic infectious disease and other symptoms that can arise from the infection are ulcers. Based on the individual’s reported symptoms, it is likely that he was exposed to livestock that carried the infectious disease.

Officials state that current efforts to examine this case further include the quarantine of family members and individuals who were in close contact with the infected individual and veterinary departments were contacted for investigation of the risk for the dispersion of the bacteria to other sources.

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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