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  • Context (TH): WHO reported Anthrax outbreaks in five countries in East and Southern Africa.
  • Anthrax, also known as malignant pustule or woolsorter’s disease, is a rare but serious disease caused by the rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis.
  • It occurs naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals worldwide.
  • It mainly affects livestock; humans can become infected through contact with sick animals.
  • It is a zoonotic disease; it is naturally transmissible from animals (usually vertebrae) to humans.
  • It is generally regarded as non-contagious. There have been instances of person-to-person transmission, however, such instances are extremely rare.
  • Symptoms: Groups of small blisters, painless skin sores with a black centre, with the possibility of swelling around them, fever and chills, shortness of breath, coughing and nausea.
  • Treatment: Vaccines are available for both livestock and humans.
  • It was used as a biological weapon in 2001 in the United States.
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