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What You Need to Know About Anthrax

Vaccine for Anthrax

There is a vaccine to prevent the disease, but it is not yet available for the general public. Anyone who is likely to be exposed to Bacillus anthracis may get the vaccine. These groups of people may include:
  • Certain members of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Laboratory workers
  • Workers who may enter or re-enter contaminated areas.
Also, in the event of an attack using anthrax as a weapon, people exposed would get the vaccine.

A Biological Weapon

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classify agents with recognized bioterrorism potential into three priority areas (A, B, and C). Bacillus anthracis is classified as a Category A agent. Category A agents are those that:
  • Pose the greatest possible threat for a bad effect on public health
  • May spread across a large area, or require public awareness
  • Need a great deal of planning to protect the public's health.

Am I at Risk?

In an average year, the chance that any one individual in the United States will contract anthrax is extremely low, meaning about 1 in nearly 300 million. In 2001, even with the intentional release of Bacillus anthracis spores in some environments, the nationwide risk was still extremely low. There were about 23 cases in nearly 300 million people.

More Anthrax Information

Certain topics mentioned above have a hyperlink to additional eMedTV articles. Click on the specific link to view more detailed articles on anthrax. Other eMedTV articles concerning this topic include:

Anthrax Information

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Bacillus Anthracis Lesion Anthrax on Neck bacillus anthracis under microscope Pulmonary Anthrax Bacillus Anthracis Infection
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