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What Is Anthrax?
Skin infection causing:
- Skin ulcers
Gastrointestinal infection causing:
- Sore throat
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Swollen lymph glands
Inhaled infection—this is the most serious form and can cause:
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Breathing problems
- Brain inflammation
What Is the Anthrax Vaccine?
Who Should Get Vaccinated and When?
- Are lab workers who may come into contact with the bacteria that causes anthrax
- Certain people who handle animals and animal products
- Certain people in the military who risk exposure to anthrax as a biological warfare weapon
What Are the Risks Associated With the Anthrax Vaccine?
- Common, mild side effects, such as a reaction at the injection site—soreness, redness, itching, a lump, or a bruise
- Rare, but serious risks include a serious allergic reaction—This condition is usually associated with anaphylaxis, which is an extreme allergic response
- Other serious adverse events may also occur
Who Should Not Get Vaccinated?
- Anyone who has had an allergic reaction to a previous dose of anthrax vaccine or any vaccine component
- People with Guillain-Barré syndrome
- Those who are very sick
What Other Ways Can Anthrax Be Prevented Besides Vaccination?
- Take precautions when dealing with animals or animal products that could possibly be contaminated by the bacteria that causes anthrax.
- Begin a course of antibiotic treatment if you have been exposed to anthrax.
What Happens in the Event of an Outbreak?
- Reviewer: David Horn, MD
- Review Date: 05/2016
- Update Date: 06/20/2014