Gastrointestinal anthrax is a rare but serious bacterial disease. It is one of the three main types of anthrax. A person can acquire it from eating meat contaminated with Bacillus anthracis bacteria or their spores. Antibiotics and supportive treatment can sometimes cure the disease; however, it results in death in 25 to 60 percent of cases.
What Is Gastrointestinal Anthrax?
Gastrointestinal anthrax is one of the three main types of anthrax, a serious bacterial disease. The other major types of anthrax are:
Cutaneous (skin) anthrax
People can acquire gastrointestinal anthrax from eating meat contaminated with Bacillus anthracis bacteria or their spores.
Gastrointestinal anthrax symptoms can include:
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Bloody diarrhea
- Vomiting blood.
Antibiotics and supportive anthrax treatment can cure the disease; however, gastrointestinal anthrax results in death in 25 to 60 percent of cases.
Gastrointestinal anthrax occurs naturally in warm and tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. There have been no confirmed cases in the United States, although a Minnesota farm family may have experienced symptoms in 2000 after eating meat from a steer that had anthrax.