Health Authorities Confirm First Human Case of Anthrax Disease in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone’s health authorities have confirmed three anthrax cases, a rare but deadly bacterial disease.

A statement said that the three were being treated, and they were in a stable condition.

Anthrax is a severe infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax can be found naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals worldwide.

Last Sunday, the agriculture ministry confirmed an outbreak among animals in the northwest, with more than 200 dying. It was the first such outbreak in three decades.

Anthrax transpires when humans come in direct or indirect contact with infected animals.

Causes:

Anthrax is caused by inhaling, ingesting, or contacting Bacillus anthracis bacteria’s spores.

The infection is caused by bacteria (Bacillus anthracis) commonly found in the soil and usually resides in animals. Anthrax can be transmitted when spores are inhaled, ingested or touched.

Symptoms:

Symptoms vary depending on the entry route and range from skin ulcer to diarrhoea and difficulty breathing.

Diagnosis:

A doctor will first rule out other conditions like flu or pneumonia, which might be causing the signs and symptoms. If additional tests are negative, further tests are done to look specifically for anthrax.

Treatment

The standard treatment for anthrax is a course of an antibiotic. However, it also depends on your age and the severity of your symptoms.

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