Anthrax

Reviewed 06/2017
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • A highly infectious disease caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis that primarily infects ruminant animals (cows, goats, and sheep). Cutaneous (95% of United States cases), inhala...

DIAGNOSIS

  • Cutaneous: Incubation period is brief (1 day); begins as a pruritic spot, followed by a red–brown papule that enlarges with peripheral erythema, vesiculation, and induration. This is followe...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • While inhalational and GI anthrax have not been shown to spread from person to person, universal precautions should still be enforced (4,7)[C].

  • Avoid contact with the wound or...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOWUP RECOMMENDATIONS

MONITORING

Monitor patients for 60 days to ensure treatment is completed. 

PROGNOSIS

  • Cutaneous: death in 5–20% of untreated cases, but the case fatality rate is <1...

REFERENCES

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anthrax. http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/anthrax/. Accessed 2015.
Donegan S, Bellamy R, Gamble CL. Vaccines for preventing anthrax. Cochrane Databas...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Update: investigation of bioterrorism-related anthrax and interim guidelines for exposure management and antimicrobial therapy, October 2...

CODES

ICD10

  • A22.9 Anthrax, unspecified

  • A22.0 Cutaneous anthrax

  • A22.1 Pulmonary anthrax

  • A22.2 Gastrointestinal anthrax

  • A22.7 Anthrax sepsis

  • A22.8 Other forms of anthrax

ICD9

  • 022.9 Anthrax, unspecified

  • 022.0 Cut...

PEARLS

  • Inhalational anthrax is rare in the United States and requires a high degree of clinical suspicion for diagnosis. If no occupational exposures to animal hides or products, it should be consider...

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