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Anthrax: Facts and Details

What is Anthrax?

Anthrax is a serious, infectious disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. There are three types of anthrax:

How do you get anthrax?

A person can become infected with anthrax by handling products from infected animals or inhaling anthrax spores from contaminated animal products. Anthrax can also be spread by eating undercooked meat from infected animals. It is rare to find infected animals in the United States. Anthrax is not known to spread from one person to another person. Anthrax can be used as a bioterrorist weapon.

What are the symptoms of anthrax?

The symptoms of anthrax are different depending on the type of the disease.

How quickly do symptoms of anthrax develop?

For all four types of anthrax, symptoms can appear within seven days of coming in contact with the bacterium. For inhalation, symptoms can appear within one week or can take up to 42 days to appear. 

How is anthrax treated?

If a person has been exposed to anthrax but is not yet sick, medications will be used to prevent anthrax infection. If a person has become sick since contact with anthrax, the person should seek emergency care, which includes intravenous medications. Success depends on the type of anthrax and how quickly treatment begins.

What is Sedgwick County doing to protect the community from anthrax? 

Citizens look to local government for answers on how to be safe and respond to incidents in the community. Sedgwick County is leading a coordinated effort through the Health Department to assure the health and safety of its citizens in the event of a terrorist incident.  

For More Information:
Contact the Sedgwick County Health Department Epidemiology Office at