What Is Anthrax?Anthrax is an infectious disease caused by specific bacteria. It can occur in humans when they have been exposed to contaminated animals or tissue from these animals. Different types of anthrax infections can occur. These include:
- 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?The anthrax vaccine protects against anthrax. It does not contain cells that cause anthrax.
Who Should Get Vaccinated and When?The following people aged 18 to 65 years should get vaccinated. Those who:
- 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?Risks associated with the anthrax vaccine include:
- Common, mild side effects include 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.