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Respiratory Anthrax

Anthrax exists in soil as a spore. A spore is a dormant form of the disease. If the spore becomes airborne, it may be inhaled.

Progression of Respiratory Anthrax

Inhaled spores make their way through the respiratory system to the alveoli. Alveoli are small air sacs in the lungs. White blood cells called macrophages, "eat" the spores. The spores grow then into bacteria. The macrophages, (carrying the spores) move through the lymphatic system and into lymph nodes. The anthrax bacteria rapidly multiply.

The anthrax infection begins in the mediastinum and produces toxins which kill nearby cells. As more cells are infected and die, swelling and bleeding occur. Toxins spread throughout the body affecting organs and causing the organs to fail. When organs begin to fail, the disease has become fatal.

Frequently asked Questions

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