Cutaneous anthrax Inhalation anthrax Intestinal anthrax
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War on terror: Anthrax Fact File
Disease Origins
Symptoms and effects
Inhalation anthrax
Intestinal anthrax
Cutaneous anthrax
Anthrax dispersal
Biological warfare
How it affects humans
Inhalation / Pulmonary anthrax
This is the rarest form of the disease. Between 1900 and 1978 only 18 cases were recorded in the US.

Symptoms
Initially coughs and sneezes, much like a common cold. Within 36 hours chest pains, severe breathing problems and shock will develop. This type of anthrax usually results in death after about two days.

Effects
The spores are absorbed through the alveoli into the lymph system. They may not become active for up to two months. Once they germinate they release toxins which rapidly leads to haemorrhaging. Any delay administering antibiotics will reduce the chances of survival. Mortality rate for this type of anthrax is about 89%.

Treatment
The antibiotic being used to treat the current cases in the US is ciprofloxacin, known in the UK as ciproxin.

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