Self-management

Prevention

Antibiotics are recommended to prevent infection in anyone exposed to the spores. Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), doxycycline (Monodox, Vibramycin, others) and levofloxacin (Levaquin) are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for post-exposure prevention of anthrax in adults and children.

Anthrax vaccine

An anthrax vaccine for humans is available. The vaccine doesn't contain live bacteria and can't lead to infection, but it can cause side effects, ranging from soreness at the injection site to more-serious allergic reactions.

The vaccine isn't intended for the general public. Instead, it's reserved for military personnel, scientists working with anthrax and people in other high-risk professions.

Avoiding infected animals

If you live or travel in a country where anthrax is common and herd animals aren't routinely vaccinated, avoid contact with livestock and animal skins as much as possible. Also avoid eating meat that hasn't been properly cooked.

Even in developed countries, it's important to handle any dead animal with care and to take precautions when working with or processing imported hides, fur or wool.

June 01, 2017
References
  1. Wilson KH. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of anthrax. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  2. Longo DL, et al., eds. Microbial bioterrorism. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  3. Anthrax. Merck Manual Professional Version. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/infectious-diseases/gram-positive-bacilli/anthrax. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  4. Wilson KH. Microbiology, pathogenesis, and epidemiology of anthrax. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  5. Wilson KH. Prevention of anthrax. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  6. Wilson KH. Treatment of anthrax. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  7. Stone CK, et al., eds. Nuclear, biologic, and chemical agents; weapons of mass destruction. In: Current Diagnosis & Treatment Emergency Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  8. Hall JB, et al., eds. Biological warfare. In: Principles of Critical Care. 4th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  9. Anthrax vaccine: What you need to know. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/anthrax.html. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.