Is Anthrax Contagious?
Transmission of Anthrax from Person to Person
Anthrax is considered infectious but is not transmitted from person to person.
Generally, a disease like this is caused by an infectious agent and not spread between people.
Anthrax, although infectious, is not a genetic disease. It is not caused by a defective or abnormal gene.
Transmission of Anthrax
Transmission of Anthrax to a person can be by way of:
- contaminated air.
- contaminated soil.
Anthrax infection can occur in three forms: cutaneous (skin),
inhalation, and gastrointestinal. B. anthracis spores can
live in the soil for many years, and humans can become infected
with anthrax by handling products from infected animals or by
inhaling anthrax spores from contaminated animal products. Anthrax
can also be spread by eating undercooked meat from infected animals.
It is rare to find infected animals in the United States. (Source: excerpt from Anthrax General: DBMD)
Direct person-to-person spread of anthrax is extremely unlikely
to occur. Communicability is not a concern in managing or visiting
with patients with inhalational anthrax. (Source: excerpt from Anthrax General: DBMD)
Discussion about Contagion of Anthrax:
For humans, the source of infection
in naturally acquired disease is infected livestock and wild
animals or contaminated animal products. Human-to-human transmission
is extremely unlikely and only reported with cutaneous anthrax. (Source: excerpt from Anthrax: DBMD)
About contagion and contagiousness:
Contagion and contagiousness refers to how easily
the spread of Anthrax is possible from one person to another.
Other words for contagion include "infection", "infectiousness",
"transmission" or "transmissability".
Contagiousness has nothing to do with genetics
or inheriting diseases from parents.
For an overview of contagion,
see Introduction to Contagion.
» Next page: Treatments for Anthrax
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