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Anthrax: symptoms in humans, photo, treatment and prevention of infection

In the list of the WHO registry are registered more than a hundred diseases of infectious nature belonging to the class of especially dangerous. Anthrax, anthrax carbuncle or anthrax - this is the brightest representative of this classification, with the ability to sudden manifestation, rapid spread and mass infection, whether animal or human. It is characterized by a severe course and a high level of mortality.

Briefly anthrax infection in humans was characterized in ancient treatises by scholars of ancient times, comparing its rapid manifestation with the sacred fire that charred the human body (the coal color of carbuncles), see the photo.


Anthrax - the causative agent and the route of infection

anthrax symptoms in humans

human anthrax photo

In humans, pathogenic microorganisms of the Bacillus anthracis family cause anthrax. Bacteria have a gram-positive characteristic (cells are stained using the Gram method), easily form endospores in the external environment and are distinguished by high survival and resistance to any influences.

The source of infection for humans is infected or dead animals from anthrax.

The infection is characterized by seasonality of manifestation - summer, autumn - this is associated with an increase in animal diseases in this period. The disease is more prone to men caring for sick cattle, taking part in their slaughter and further cutting.

The incubation period of anthrax in a person is very short, the disease may occur within a few hours and after 8 days - usually on the 2nd or 3rd day after infection. For effective treatment of anthrax, it is important to start it as soon as possible - the disease develops rapidly and even today the prognosis of life is not always favorable.

An anthrax infection is transmitted by:

  • direct contact with a sick animal, or in contact with agricultural raw materials or soil contaminated with pathogen spores;
  • possible alimentary infection (with food or through dirty hands);
  • transmissible (by blood - transfer through scratching or biting);
  • air-aerosol - inhalation of bacterial spores on the mucous membrane of the organs.

Development process

Bacterial spores themselves are not dangerous to humans or animals, as long as they do not penetrate into a development-friendly environment. With bacterial cutaneous implantation, an inflammatory reaction develops at the site of penetration.

It forms a hemorrhagic focus with signs of tissue necrosis (necrosis), swelling in the surrounding tissue center and the development of bubo (carbuncle), as a result of the development of regional lymphadenopathy.

This local process develops under the action of bacterial exotoxin - a strong poison that causes pronounced functional disturbances in the circulatory system in the body, provoking the formation of tissue edema and dry coagulation necrosis.

For reasons beyond the site of localization, the symptoms of anthrax of the first stage of the disease manifest themselves as local lesions of the regional (local) lymph nodes and symptoms of generalization of the process - in the second stage of development.

Anthrax - symptoms in humans, photo

anthrax carbuncle photo

anthrax carbuncle photo

anthrax photo During a long study and observation of infected patients, various forms of clinical manifestations of anthrax in humans — skin forms, intestinal and pulmonary localization, and forms of septic development were identified. The manifestation in humans of the symptoms of anthrax is due to the species classification of the disease.

  • The manifestation of the skin type of infection

With the skin form of anthrax, the breakthrough of the infection into the bloodstream and the process of sepsis , due to the generalization of the infection, is extremely rare. Its classification includes several varieties, manifesting itself in the carbunculosis, edematous, bullous, and erysipeloid forms of the disease.

Карбункулезная сибиреязвенная инфекция – самая частая разновидность болезни, встречается в более 95% случаев среди инфицированных пациентов. 1) Carbunculosis anthrax infection is the most common type of disease, occurs in more than 95% of cases among infected patients. Manifested local skin changes in the area of ​​entry of infection. The first changes appear as a red spot, elevating above the skin. Subsequently, after going through all the stages of development (nodule, bladder, ulcer), the stain turns into an ulcer formation.

The process of transformation of the initial spot into a purulent pustule is very fast, accompanied by itching and burning, and takes only a few hours. The purulent pustular content is mixed with blood impurities and becomes coal-colored. Scratches, or awkward movements can destroy the integrity of the abscess, the contents flows out, forming an ulceration, subsequently covered with a black scab.

The dead ulcerated edges, like a necklace, are encircled by secondarily formed ulcers. Their destruction contributes to the expansion of the main ulcerative focus. The skin adjacent to it is hyperemic and edematous, which is especially noticeable when an abscess develops on the skin of the face. Reduced or completely lost sensitivity in the zone of ulceration.

The second day of the disease begins with intoxication symptoms, manifested:

  • feverish state with very high temperatures;
  • a sense of powerlessness;
  • feeling of depression and severe migraine;
  • adynamic signs;
  • tachycardia.

After a week-long high fever, it abruptly goes down, the ulcer heals and after a couple of weeks the scabs fall off. As a rule, carbuncles develop one by one, but there are cases of multiple formations - up to three dozen. At the same time, there were no noticeable differences in the course of the disease from single localizations.

Anthrax infection in those patients who have not previously been vaccinated, proceeds with minor skin pathologies resembling furunculosis, intoxication symptoms may not appear at all.

Эдематозная форма – отмечается редко. 2) Edematous form - rarely observed. The disease is severe with a strong intoxication syndrome, but without visible ulcerative manifestations. First appears puffiness. The skin becomes dense and already later, it becomes covered with a scab.

Буллезное проявление отличается пузырьковыми высыпаниями вместо язвенных образований в области внедрения инфекции. 3) The bullous manifestation is characterized by blistering eruptions instead of ulcers in the area of ​​infection. The cavity of bubbles is filled with purulent exudate. The formations can be very large, after a week and a half, they open, forming a large surface ulcers.

Эризипелоидная кожная инфекция антракса относится к редким формам. 4) Erisipeloid skin infection of anthrax is a rare form. Differs in a large number of vesicular manifestations filled with whitish exudate. They are located on the hyperemic, edematous skin. After opening, a lot of drying ulcers remain.

  • Pulmonary form

The type of pulmonary pathology refers to a very severe form of the disease, manifested by an acute course. Even the most effective drugs and modern anthrax treatment sometimes can not prevent mortality. Against the background of excellent well-being, there is a strong chill, temperature indicators are rapidly increasing to critical levels. Marked by:

  • signs of acute conjunctivitis;
  • catarrhal symptoms;
  • severe piercing tenderness in the chest;
  • heart palpitations and shortness of breath;
  • signs of cutaneous cyanosis and hypotension;
  • bloody impurities in sputum.

When listening to the lungs, they find out - a dull percussion sound over the lungs, moist and dry sounds, sometimes the sounds of clear pleural friction. Mortality occurs on the third day.

Intestinal anthrax appears:

  • acute intoxication symptoms;
  • hyperpyretic fever and pain in the epigastrium;
  • diarrhea and vomiting with blood inclusions;
  • bloating and abdominal pain;
  • irritation of the peritoneum.

Rapid deterioration provokes a breakthrough of bacteria in the blood. Their release of endotoxins leads to toxic shock and death of the patient.

The anthrax septic species can practically develop in any of the above described types of the disease, which is caused by the introduction of an infectious microorganism through the mucous membrane of the respiratory and gastrointestinal system.

In such cases, the generalization of the process is a consequence of violations of the protective barrier functions in the tracheobronchial lymph nodes and the lymph nodes of the intestinal section - the mesenteric. Often, with the development of secondary lesions in the internal organs.

Anthrax treatment, drugs

Anthrax treatment, drugs

The basis for the diagnosis of anthrax infection is to collect data and establish possible ways of infection (history of the environment). Laboratory diagnostic techniques are applied for diagnostic confirmation, including:

Identification of the anthrax bacterium and its identification by methods of sampling and examination of material from pustules, blisters and subcortical effusion in the carbuncle.

When a pulmonary type of infection is detected, blood, feces and sputum are examined.

An immunofluorescent examination is also used to identify the pathogen and, as an auxiliary method, an allergic test is used - intradermal administration of the anthraxin allergen.

If the infiltrative hyperemia of more than 1 cm in diameter after the test does not disappear within two days, the reaction is considered positive.

Therapeutic therapy

As etiotropic therapy in the treatment of anthrax, antibiotics and immunoglobulin preparations are used.

  1. In case of local process, pulmonary form and septic manifestations, “Ciprofloxacin” or “Doxycycline” are prescribed. Intravenous or intravenous administration - at the age dose twice / day.
  2. Penicillin preparations have proven to be effective in the treatment of anthrax in humans. Parenteral single dose per day of “Ampicillin” or “Oxacillin” is prescribed for the skin variety of the disease. When puffiness comes off in the area of ​​the pathological process, the drugs can be administered orally for one more one and a half weeks.
  3. When joining meningitis, penicillin administration is combined with the necessary age-related doses of Hydrocarthysone.
  4. For intestinal and pulmonary diseases, the use of antibiotics is useless if they are not administered immediately after infection. The effectiveness of the treatment of anthrax depends on its timeliness, started in the early stages of the development of the disease - the rapid development of the process does not leave the patient a chance for survival.
  5. Intoxication symptoms of anthrax and treatment of complicated processes is carried out according to the established general method of intensive therapy.

Methods for the prevention of anthrax

Disease prevention includes medical and veterinary sanitary measures that perform tasks to identify epidemic foci and their rehabilitation. The monitoring of water regional resources, pasture states and farms engaged in animal husbandry is carried out.

Vaccinations are carried out on farms, raw materials processing, product transportation and storage conditions are monitored. Tracked proper disposal of dead animals.

Individual measures in the form of vaccination are necessary for persons at risk, due to professional activity. Disinfection is carried out in the foci of probable infection.

Upon contact with a suspicious object, but no later than five days after it, an emergency preventive antibiotic therapy is conducted.


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