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Anthrax And Its Effects On Humans

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Humans can be exposed to biological pathogens, microorganisms that can cause disease, in their environments. When pathogens are ingested, inhaled, or have encountered the dermis, then multiply, invading the body resulting in disease or death. Anthrax, Bacillus anthracis, is a bacterium that has been around for centuries, is found naturally occurring in soil, and causes skin, respiratory, or intestinal infections of humans and animals (Gould & Dyer, 2010, p. 345). During the bacteria’s time in the environment the bacteria’s spores are in a dormant state, until it becomes ingested or inhaled, becoming activated (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). Once activated the bacteria spreads throughout the body, releasing toxins…show more content…
The small island was considered uninhabitable up to 1986 due to the continued finding of anthrax spores. For one year, Great Britain cleansed the island with a “mixture of formaldehyde and seawater”, until “the island was considered disinfected” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016).
Through the years following World War II, the United States created vaccines for troop protection, President Nixon ceased the bioweapon program, and over 100 nations agreed to a treaty for the destruction and prohibition of bioweapons. In 2001, following the Trade Center attack, letters were sent through the mail to the media and to congressional offices, that had microscopic spores on them (Federal Bureau of Investigation, n.d.). Inhalation of the spores and the lack of proper treatment lead to the death of five people, as well as 17 who were infected (Federal Bureau of Investigation, n.d.). Most of the individuals forwent treatment due to the symptoms that mimic other illness-flu, common cold symptoms, or upper respiratory infection, until it progressed, and help was sought. Symptoms may develop after a few days to a few months with antibiotics being used as treatment.
Public health surveillance is the continuous collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, which can be disseminated “to public health programs to stimulate public health action” (Thacker, Qualters, & Lee, 2012). Importation gathered by the surveillance can
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