Acute infectious disease from the group of zoonoses, characterized by fever, damage to the lymphatic system, intoxication, occurs in the form of skin, rarely intestinal, pulmonary and septic forms. The causative agent is an aerobic bacterium - a fixed, large-sized rod with chopped off ends. Outside the body of humans and animals forms spores, which are highly resistant to physical and chemical influences. The source of anthrax bacteria is sick or dead animals. Human infection is often carried out by contact (when cutting animal carcasses, processing hides, etc.) and by eating foods that are contaminated with spores, as well as through water, soil, fur products, etc.
Symptoms and course:The disease most often affects the skin, at least - the internal organs.
The incubation period is from 2 to 14 days.
In skin form (carbunculosis), open areas of the body are most susceptible to damage. The disease is severely located at the location of carbuncles in the head, neck, mucous membranes of the mouth and nose. There are single and multiple carbuncles. First (in the place of the entrance gate of the microbe) a reddish stain appears, itchy, like an insect bite. During the day, the skin thickens noticeably, itching increases, often turning into a burning sensation, a vesicle develops at the spot, a bladder filled with serous contents, then with blood. Patients during scratching tear down the vial and form an ulcer with a black bottom. From this point on, a rise in temperature, headache, and appetite disorder. The edges of the ulcer from the moment of opening begin to swell, forming an inflammatory ridge, swelling occurs, which begins to spread rapidly. The bottom of the ulcer sinks more and more, and at the edges "daughter" vesicles with transparent contents are formed. This growth of ulcers lasts 5-6 days. By the end of the first day, the ulcer reaches a size of 8-15 mm and from that moment is called anthrax carbuncle. The peculiarity of the anthrax carbuncle is the absence of pain in the area of necrosis and a characteristic three-colored color: black in the center (eschar), around - a narrow yellowish-purulent border, then - a wide purple shaft. Possible damage to the lymphatic system (lymphadenitis).
With a successful course of the disease, after 5-6 days, the temperature decreases, overall health improves, swelling is reduced, lymphangitis and lymphadenitis subside, the scab is rejected, the wound heals with scar formation. In an unfavorable course, secondary sepsis develops, with a repeated rise in temperature, a significant deterioration in the general condition, an increase in headache, an increase in tachycardia, and the appearance of secondary pustules on the skin. There may be bloody vomiting and diarrhea. Death is not excluded.
In the intestinal form (alimentary anthrax sepsis), toxicosis develops from the first hours of the disease. There is a sharp weakness, abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, bloody diarrhea. The patient's condition progressively worsens. Secondary pustular and hemorrhagic rashes are possible on the skin. Soon there comes anxiety, shortness of breath, cyanosis. Possible meningoencephalitis. Patients die from increasing heart failure after 3-4 days from the onset of the disease.
The pulmonary form of anthrax is characterized by a stormy onset: chills, a sharp rise in temperature, pain and chest tightness, cough with frothy sputum, rapidly increasing symptoms of general intoxication, insufficiency of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
Bronchopneumonia and a hemorrhagic pleurisy are defined clinically and radiologically. Death occurs at 2-3 days as a result of pulmonary edema and collapse.
The septic form proceeds very rapidly and is fatal.
Treatment:Regardless of the clinical form of the disease, treatment consists of pathogenetic and etiotropic therapy (the use of specific anthrax globulin and penicillin-type antibiotics and semi-synthetic).
The prognosis for skin forms of anthrax is favorable. In septic cases, it is questionable, even with early treatment.
Prevention:Proper organization of veterinary supervision, vaccination of domestic animals. In the event of the death of animals from anthrax, animal carcasses should be burned, and food obtained from them should be destroyed. According to epidemic indications, people are vaccinated with STI vaccine. Persons who have been in contact with sick animals or people are subject to active medical observation for 2 weeks.