ANTHRAX

Cosmos - - Gallery - CREDIT: EYE OF SCI­ENCE / GETTY IMAGES

A can­di­date cul­prit for the fifth bib­li­cal plague in Egypt, anthrax is a bac­terium that in­fects sheep, cat­tle and other live­stock, spread­ing to hu­mans ex­posed to an in­fected an­i­mal’s fur, pelt or meat. Spores en­ter skin wounds, caus­ing ul­cers with a char­ac­ter­is­tic black core (hence the et­y­mol­ogy, anthrax be­ing Greek for “coal”). When the spore is swal­lowed or in­haled, mor­tal­ity soars with­out an­tibi­otics from 25% to 80%. Prior to the de­vel­op­ment of the first ef­fec­tive vac­cine by Louis Pas­teur, and then an­tibi­otics, anthrax killed hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple and live­stock a year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.