Anthrax – Sierra Leone
May 23, 2022 – Three cases of human anthrax have been reported in the Karene District, Sierra Leone. This occurred shortly after an outbreak was discovered amongst animals. Originally, four cases were detected and sent in for laboratory analysis. Three of the four samples tested positive for anthrax. According to the source, it is likely that the anthrax infection had originated from exposure to infected animals as it is likely to spread from human to human. All cases were cutaneous anthrax and the other two types were inhalation anthrax and gastrointestinal anthrax.
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.
While you are here, help us with
Access to Essential Drugs
One third of children, women and men have no access to essential medicines, putting lives at risk. Hospitals frequently run out of medicines and other essential supplies. Our Med-Aid program connects hospitals with aid and ensures that they receive exactly what they need.
Access to Diagnostics
Much of today’s innovation is either not reaching or not suitable for people in developing countries.
Data to Improve Health
Faster and reactive systems to help provide lifesaving support to vulnerable communities.
Support our work. It only takes a minute but makes a world of difference!
With your help we can bring modern diagnostics and essential medicines to people in need, track disease outbreaks better and help prevent future pandemics.