Microbiology

What is Anthrax



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What Is Anthrax?

Anthrax is one of those things that people are very afraid of yet they do not know much about it. A very large reason why people are so afraid of Anthrax is because of the recent terrorist attacks in the past decade. We Americans are a targeted people now days. We used to be the big dogs who nobody messed with, but the recent attacks on American soil has pointed out a big weakness of ours. We are not used to being attacked on our own soil, our high ground, our homeland. However, after the very sad day of September 11th that will go down in history our enemies have found out what hurts our nation the most. That is attacking the innocent people that are just trying to live their lives. Our enemies have not just attacked big buildings by crashing planes into them, they have poisoned our citizens with Anthrax, a weapon that caught us very off guard because of its easy delivery. So you ask the question, what really is Anthrax?

Anthrax is a disease found in humans and animals bacillas anthracis which is very, very lethal. However there are different forms, some have effective vaccines and other forms respond well to antibiotics. Bacillas anthracis is a form that is very lethal. It can form long lived spores which can stay lethal for for many decades. These spores can be found on all continents except Antarctica. When these spores come in contact with, inhaled, ingested or come in contact with your skin they can reactivate and multiply in numbers very rapidly. Anthrax is most commonly found in grass eating mammals or rodents because they ingest it or inhale the spores while eating grass. Vise versa humans can come in contact with these spores through eating infected meat, becoming exposed to dead pigs, or being exposed to a high amount of anthrax spores from an animals fur.

These deadly spores can be grown and used for biological weapons. Perfect for harming unsuspecting victims. Not all that skill is required to grow anthrax which means almost anyone can do it. That is very scary when you think about all those crazy people out there that want to get back at the world. In 2001 shortly after the 911 attacks there were some scary cases of anthrax being delivered in the mail. I see this method as a very cowardly way of attacking an enemy. The U.S. postal service had to use radiation to eliminate the anthrax in suspicious mail. Another experiment has proved that if you can rid the anthrax of heating up the host to a very high temperature.

Yes, this is a very scary situation when mailing attacks are going on. But you should not be worried about anthrax when hiking through the woods. The chances of being contaminated with anthrax is very unlikely, but now you know what it is.

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