How Much Do You Know About Anthrax?
What have you learned about anthrax since it became a real concern after Sept. 11, 2001?
1. Anthrax is caused by which of the following?
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Anthrax is caused by the rod-shaped bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Like most bacteria, B. anthracis reproduces by forming spores. It is primarily a disease of hoofed animals (cattle, sheep, goats), but it can affect humans, as well. In the past, farmers, veterinarians, and workers in the tannery and wool industries have been the people most likely to contract anthrax. Recently, anthrax has become a potential biological warfare weapon. Anthrax in humans takes three forms: inhalation anthrax (breathing in the spores), cutaneous anthrax (spores enter through a cut in the skin and cause lesions), and intestinal anthrax (the spores are ingested through contaminated food). It is not a contagious disease -- it can't be passed from person to person -- like smallpox, another potential biological warfare weapon.
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