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A husband and wife from Craiova in Dolj County have contracted anthrax from contact with “animals in the household”, according to a local media report (computer translated).

Bacillus anthracis bacteria Image/CDC
Bacillus anthracis bacteria

According to the report, they went to Emergency County Hospital Craiova last week presenting with “several hand injuries”. Doctors suspected anthrax.

“They were tested, and laboratory results confirmed that the two patients had the anthrax bacillus. They were transferred to the Infectious Diseases Hospital, where they are being properly treated, “said Ştefan Popescu, spokeswoman for the Dolj Public Health Department to reporters.

An epidemiological investigation of the home is underway.

LISTEN: Anthrax: An interview with Dr Buddy Faries

Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax can be found naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals around the world. Although it is rare, people can get sick with anthrax if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products

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Cutaneous  anthrax occurs when the spore (or possibly the bacterium) enters a cut or abrasion on the skin. It starts out as a raised bump that looks like an insect bite. It then develops into a blackened lesion called an eschar that may form a scab. Lymph glands in the area may swell plus edema may be present. This form of anthrax responds well to antibiotics. If untreated, deaths can occur if the infection goes systemic. 95% of cases of anthrax are cutaneous.