Anthrax

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    After finding several carcasses of wild boar, Kerala health officials confirmed the presence of anthrax

    What is Anthrax?

    • Anthrax, also known as malignant pustule or woolsorter’s disease.
    • It is a serious infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis.
    •  It occurs naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals around the world. 
    • Transmission 
      • It is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it is naturally transmissible from animals (usually vertebrae) to humans. 
      • People can get the disease through contact with infected animals or animal products that are contaminated with bacteria.
      • It  is generally regarded as non-contagious. 
        • There have been instances of person-to-person transmission, however, such instances are extremely rare.
    • Occurrence in India
      • It has usually been found in India’s southern states and is less frequently found in the northern states. 
        • Over the past years, it has been reported in Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Orissa and Karnataka.
    • Treatment 
      • Antibiotic therapy that is administered early in the course of the infection has been proven to be responsive.
      • Penicillin has long been the antibiotic of choice and in recent years, ciprofloxacin and doxycycline have also been used as alternatives.
      • One way to prevent the disease is by vaccination of livestock so that the disease cannot spread.
        •  There are also vaccines for humans, but their availability is usually restricted to at-risk individuals, such as lab workers and people who handle animals.

    Source:IE