by Diana Kohnle
Anthrax is life-threatening disease. Its bacteria and spores get into the body and release toxins. It can also come from infected livestock, their products, and the environment.
Symptoms depend on how anthrax enters the body.
Antibiotics treat anthrax. All forms of anthrax can be fatal, especially if not treated.
The anthrax vaccine protects against anthrax. It does not contain cells that cause anthrax.
The vaccine is for those who are aged 18-65 years old and:
There are 5 doses given as a shot. You get the first dose when there is risk of exposure. The next 4 doses come at 4 weeks, then 6, 12, and 18 months after the first one.
Risks associated with the anthrax vaccine include:
Don't get the vaccine if you have:
To lower your chances of anthrax:
Public health officials will work quickly to find the source of anthrax. Anthrax testing and antibiotics can help to prevent infection in other people.
Anthrax has no color, odor, or taste. If you think you came in contact with it, seek medical care right away.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization
Anthrax immune globulin. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T908954/Anthrax-Immune-Globulin . Updated January 24, 2017. Accessed May 16, 2018.
Anthrax vaccine absorbed. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T907429/Anthrax-Vaccine-Adsorbed . Updated April 18, 2018. Accessed May 16, 2018.
Anthrax VIS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/anthrax.html. Updated March 21, 2018. Accessed May 16, 2018.
Products approved for anthrax. US Food & Drug Administration website. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/EmergencyPreparedness/BioterrorismandDrugPreparedness/ucm063485.htm. Updated February 26, 2018. Accessed May 16, 2018.
Last reviewed May 2018 by David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 5/16/2018