Cutaneous anthrax is an infection of the skin caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The bacteria causes disease when it comes into contact with non-intact skin. During an infection, an initial skin lesion forms then blisters. The blister breaks down into a black ulcer and nearby lymph nodes may become infected and painful. A scar is often formed which then dries and falls off within two weeks. In 20% of untreated individuals, the infection may spread to the bloodstream and become fatal. Although with proper treatment, death is extremely rare.
|Review Date: 7/25/2007|
Reviewed By: Kenneth M. Wener, MD, Department of Infectious Diseases. Lahey Clinic, Burlington, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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