Anthrax Essay

1281 words - 6 pages

Anthrax is not your common disease. It does not cause a simple cough or a small upset stomach. It doesn’t pass in the air from human to human. It is a tedious almost undetectable disease that has plagued the lives of many. Anthrax has been a major factor in human history, although the disease doesn’t always hit the race first. Anthrax is mainly caused by herbivore’s that graze in infected land. The plagues that were written in Exodus may have been anthrax in domesticated animals followed by the disease spreading to humans. The disease that was described in Virgil’s Georgics was more than likely anthrax in domesticated and wild animals. During the 16th to the 18th centuries in Europe, anthrax was an extremely economically important disease that affected agriculture. So in short anthrax has been around for quite some time, but even today it imposes a threat to the human race because of it’s ability to be one of the most dangerous bioterrorist weapons used.
Anthrax originates from the bacteria Bacillus Anthracis. The bacteria is a spore-forming rod and is gram-positive. This spore is incredibly resilient and can be life threatening and often times fatal if untreated. Bacillus Anthracis was the first bacterium found to conclude that bacteria is the leading cause in diseases. In 1877 Robert Koch produced a number of anthrax spores and injected them into a host. He quickly found out that by injecting the spores they were activated and quickly caused a disease to take over the host’s body. To determine why such an event would occur, he made bacterial cultures onto glass slides and viewed them under a microscope. He then found out that anthrax certainly did derive from the bacteria Bacillus Anthracis. This research also opened the door to the bacterium world and how diseases were caused and how to treat them.
It occurs worldwide and sometimes not even in rural areas. However some countries soil seems to favor the bacteria spore that harbors the anthrax disease. In such areas the soil provides the perfect conditions such as moisture levels and temperatures. The disease can re-occur in these areas more than once. The disease usually targets animals that are domesticated in farms such as: sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, dogs, horses and donkey. When conditions such as heavy rain, flooding, and drought are presented in anthrax prone areas it rears it’s ugly head. After a rainfall animals graze upon the freshly grown grass that is freshly infected by anthrax, which leads to outbreaks of the disease due to the intake of organisms picked up from the contaminated soil areas. During rampant outbreaks, flies that bite the animals may transmit the disease from one infected animal an uninfected participant, but this isn’t the main form of transmission, nor is it very effective. The best mode of transmission is the ingestion of the infective micro-organisms. Blowflies, which are non-biting, may contaminate vegetation by depositing vomit droplets after feeding on a...

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