Chemical Warfare

.. which can lead to pneumonia, is very fast spreading, and can lead to respiratory distress, contracts it. It can be lethal. Death can occur in less than 48 hours from the time of infection. Inhalation anthrax however is very rare and there is a vaccination available. According to Health Answers, Symptoms include: ? Fever ? General Discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling (malaise) ? Headaches ? Shortness of breath ? Cough ? Congestion of the nose and throat ? Pneumonia ? Joint Stiffness ? Joint pain Signs and tests: ? Blood culture is positive for anthrax ? Chest x-ray ? Serologic test for anthrax ? Spinal tap for CSF culture, and analysis Treatment: ? Antibiotics (Penicillin) Complications: ? Hemorrhagic Meningitis ? Mediastinitis ? Shock ? ARDS (adult respiratory distress syndrome) The death rate is extremely high even with proper treatment.

Cutaneous anthrax or anthrax skin, is defined as a disease that effects mostly farm animals. Humans acquire it through a break in the skin when in direct contact with animals. When it seeps through a cut it intern causes a lesion infection. This infection can spread causing chills, shock, sweating, and collapsing. The incidence ratio is 1:100,000 people.

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There is a vaccination available. According to Health Answers, Symptoms include: ? A reddish brown sore that breaks open and forms a scab ? Fever ? Chills ? General Discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling (malaise) ? Headaches ? Nausea and vomiting Signs and tests: ? Blood cultures positive for anthrax ? Cultures of skin lesions ? Skin or Mucosal biopsy Treatment: ? Penicillin ? Tetracycline Complications: ? Hemorrhagic meningitis ? Mediastinitis ? Shock The death rate is low if treated properly. Intestinal anthrax may follow the consumption detected in contaminated meat, and is characterized by inflammation of the intestinal tract. Symptoms include: ? Nausea ? Loss of appetite ? Vomiting ? Fever (followed by) ? Abdominal pain ? Vomiting blood ? Severe diarrhea Treatment: ? Antibiotics Death occurs in about every 25% to 60% of the cases. There are a few things that can be done one are to get vaccinated for anthrax. The anthrax vaccine is an injection of dead anthrax bacteria. The current U.S.

vaccine is made of protein filtrate purified from anthrax cultures and contains predominantly protective antigens absorbed to aluminum hydroxide the final product includes no more than 2.4 mg of aluminum hydroxide per 0.5ml does, from aldehyde (0.02 or less) and benzethonium chloride (.0025% or less) as preservatives. The vaccine developed by the Michigan Biological product institute, in Lansing Michigan. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) license the vaccine. The vaccination is first given as a series of three shots.

One shot is given every three weeks. This is followed by a shot 6 months later, then at 12 months, and then at 16 months. You have to get all of the shots in order for it to be effective. So is the vaccine safe? As I said before it is FDA approved and has been given in the U.S. since 1970.

However 30% of people who get injected complain of slight tenderness and redness at the injection sight. The more sever effects have been extreme swelling of the forearm, and flu-like symptoms. The most common complaints however are joint aches, nausea, loss of appetite, and headaches. The anthrax vaccine should only be given to healthy men and women between the ages of 18 and 65. It should not be given to pregnant women because of the unawareness of the effects on the fetus.

If you think that you are showing signs of anthrax what can be done? Two things that can be done are one a serologic test and two a CSF culture. A serologic test is defined as a blood test to detect the presence of antibodies against B anthracis. The test is done by taking a blood sample from a vein, most commonly from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The blood is then taken to a lab. Serology refers to the study of serum for its antibody content.

The B anthracis microorganism stimulates the body to produce antibodies during an active infection. In the laboratory, the antibodies react with antigens in specific ways. There are several serology techniques that can be used depending on suspected antibodies, serology techniques include agglutinations, precipitation, complementfixation, fluorescent antibodies and others. According to Health Answers, Risks include: ? Excessive bleeding ? Fainting or felling light headed ? Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin) ? Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken) ? Multiple punctures to locate veins The test costs about $91. The problem with the serologic test is that it can tell if you have ever been exposed to anthrax before, but that dose not necessarily means that you are currently infected. If signs of anthrax are present another test may be performed to see if the antibody levels have increased or not.

If they have you most likely have been effected. The CSF test, cerebral spinal fluid, is defined as a test to detect the presence of bacteria in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF is a clear fluid that surrounds and protects the spaces in the spinal cord. CSF protects the spinal cord and the brain from injury and physical shock. The test is done by having a spinal tap.

The fluid is brought to a lab where it is placed and allowed to grow. According to Health Answers, Risks include: ? Hypersensitivity (allergic) reaction to the anesthetic ? Discomfort during test ? Headache after test ? Bleeding into spinal canal ? Brain herniation, resulting in brain damage ? Damage to the spinal cord The cost is about $130. The reason for the test is to try and find any viruses, bacteria, or fungus that could be present. The test will identify the type of organism, fungus etc. that you have in your body. Anthrax will always be a biochemical threat to the U.S.

vaccination or not. Its Haness effects and virtual undetectability will haunt the U.S. for years to come. You can think you have the flu, then you could be dead, and its as crazy as that. Treatment can in fact be effective, but how can you treat the unknown? This article has opened my eyes to a lot of things and it is scary. My brother is scheduled to receive the anthrax vaccination for sometime soon, because he is in the Air Force.

I fear for his health. If nothing else I hope that people make themselves more aware about anthrax and its vaccination. I hope that they refuse it until more extensive research can be done to perfect it and minimize the side effects. God bless our military! Social Issues.

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