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Anthrax is a disease that commonly occurs in warm-blooded animals, such as goats, sheep, cattle, pigs, but can also occur in humans.
It is most common in regions where these animals are raised, especially in South and Central America, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East, parts of Europe, and rarely in the United States.
There are three ways humans can get anthrax:
Humans are not very susceptible to infection, and person to person transmission of anthrax is very rare.
Symptoms depend on how a person was exposed to anthrax:
Anthrax can be treated with certain antibiotics, but treatment must begin very soon after exposure. Inhalation anthrax should be treated prior to symptom onset to be most effective.
If not treated, anthrax can cause death.
Is there a vaccine to prevent anthrax?
There is an approved vaccine, and it is recommended for the following people:
Persons with possible exposure will be evaluated by public health officials to determine if antibiotic treatment should be started.
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