Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported a significant anthrax outbreak in Zambia, marking an alarming spread of the disease across nine out of the country's ten provinces.
- It is a highly infectious disease that is caused by the gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis.
- It affects animals like cows, sheep, and goats, as well as wild herbivores.
- Even humans can get sick if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products.
- Anthrax bacteria also occur naturally in soil.
- Symptoms of anthrax
- The disease manifests in three forms depending on the route of infection: cutaneous, gastrointestinal, and inhalational.
- Cutaneous anthrax, the most common form, presents with itchy bumps that develop into black sores, often accompanied by fever and muscle aches.
- How is anthrax diagnosed?
- It can be diagnosed by identifying Bacillus anthracis in blood, skin lesions, or respiratory secretions through laboratory culture, PCR, or ELISA tests.
- While there is no specific test to determine exposure to anthrax, public health investigations play a crucial role in identifying potential cases.
- Treatment: It is available and includes antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, or levofloxacin.
- Vaccines are also available for both livestock and humans.
Q1) What is Bacteria ?
Bacteria are small single-celled organisms. Bacteria are found almost everywhere on Earth and are vital to the planet's ecosystems.