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Anthrax FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which doctor should I see if I have symptoms similar to anthrax?

You should see a general physician.

2. Does a patient have immunity after recovering from anthrax infection?

Currently there is not enough data to confirm whether an anthrax infection provides lifelong immunity. However, it is theoretically possible to gain post-infection immunity.

3. How can I prevent anthrax after an exposure?

Treatment is different for a person who is exposed to anthrax.. Health-care providers will use antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, or penicillin) combined with the anthrax vaccine to prevent anthrax infection.
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4. When is a nasal swab indicated?

Nasal swabs and screening may assist in epidemiologic investigations, but should not be relied upon as a guide for prophylaxis or treatment.

5. Is there an X-ray for detecting anthrax?

A chest X-ray can be used to help diagnose inhalation anthrax in people who have symptoms. It is not useful as a test for determining anthrax exposure or for people with no symptoms.

6. Can the presence of Bacillus anthracis spores be detected by a characteristic appearance, odor, or taste?

Bacillus anthracis spores do not have a characteristic appearance (e.g., color), smell, or taste. Spores themselves are too small to be seen by the naked eye.

7. Can a screening test be done to find out whether an individual has been exposed to anthrax?

There is no screening test for anthrax; there is no test that a doctor can do that says that an individual has been exposed to or carry it.

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