What Is Anthrax?
Skin infection causing:
- Skin ulcers
Gastrointestinal infection causing:
- Sore throat
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Swollen lymph glands
Inhaled infection—this is the most serious form and can cause:
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Breathing problems
- Brain inflammation
What Is the Anthrax Vaccine?
Who Should Get Vaccinated and When?
- Are lab workers who may come into contact with the bacteria that causes anthrax
- Certain people who handle animals and animal products
- Certain people in the military who risk exposure to anthrax as a biological warfare weapon
What Are the Risks Associated With the Anthrax Vaccine?
- Common, mild side effects, such as a reaction at the injection site—soreness, redness, itching, a lump, or a bruise
- Rare, but serious risks include a serious allergic reaction—This condition is usually associated with anaphylaxis , which is an extreme allergic response
- Other serious adverse events may also occur
Who Should Not Get Vaccinated?
- Anyone who has had an allergic reaction to a previous dose of anthrax vaccine or any vaccine component
- People with Guillain-Barré syndrome
- Those who are very sick
What Other Ways Can Anthrax Be Prevented Besides Vaccination?
- Take precautions when dealing with animals or animal products that could possibly be contaminated by the bacteria that causes anthrax.
- Begin a course of antibiotic treatment if you have been exposed to anthrax.
What Happens in the Event of an Outbreak?
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
World Health Organization http://www.who.int
Anthrax. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 30, 2015. Accessed June 10, 2015.
Anthrax. Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/EmergencyPreparedness/BioterrorismandDrugPreparedness/ucm063485.htm. Updated February 11, 2014. Accessed June 10, 2015.
Anthrax basics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/anthrax/basics. Updated August 29, 2013. Accessed June 8, 2015.
Anthrax vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/anthrax.pdf. Updated March 10, 2010. Accessed June 10, 2015.
- Reviewer: David L. Horn, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 06/2015 -
- Update Date: 06/20/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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