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Doctor insights on: Anthrax Handling Mail

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What is the risk for getting anthrax from handling my own mail?

What is the risk for getting anthrax from handling my own mail?

Very, very low: According to an article written by ed o’keefe for the washington post, the United States postal service spends $101 million annually to screen all first-class mail. Envelopes are scanned and periodic air samples are taken to track for biologic agents. No harmful biological chemicals have been detected since 2002. ...Read more

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How can mail get cross-contaminated with anthrax?

Only by design: Ordinary mail including packages will not pick up things like anthrax or other infectious agents. For this to happen, someone would have to, on purpose, open one piece of mail and insert anthrax. There is no chance for accidental contamination. ...Read more

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When there is a known incident, how can I prevent anthrax exposure from cross-contaminated mail?

Autoclave the mail: You worrying about an eventuality that is less likely to happen than you getting struck by lightening, so to speak. However, if you are paranoid, you could get your mail autoclaved. ...Read more

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Is anthrax a serious health risk?

Few Cases/ Serious: There are very few cases of anthrax - however infection wth anthrax is a serious healh problem with a high fatality rate for GI & inhalational anthrax. ...Read more

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Is anthrax in the soil all around us?

Is anthrax in the soil all around us?

Soil born spores: Anthrax spores are soil born. They can be ingested by herbivor mammals. These mammals can subsequently be eaten by carnivorous mammals. People can come in contact with infected hides or meat. Animal outbreaks are most often seen in undeveloped countries. ...Read more

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How many different types of anthrax are there?

How many different types of anthrax are there?

1 germ/3-4 forms: There is one anthrax germ that produces human illness based on how it enters the body. Inhaled spores can produce pulmonary anthrax (terrorist act), eating raw meat or dairy from infected animals can produce mouth & throat or gastrointestinal anthrax.Spores that are scratched into the skin surface can produce a skin sore.See www.Bt.Cdc.Gov/agent/anthrax. ...Read more

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What occurs if your body were exposed to anthrax?

Route of exposure: If anthrax spores are introduced into the skin, it causes a local sore and ulcer and mortality is limited. Eating contaminate meat causes gastro-intestinal infection with appreciable mortality. Inhalation of spores causes the most severe disease by affecting the lungs. See this site for more info. http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/anthrax/. ...Read more

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Why is anthrax so hard to kill?

Spores: Anthrax bacterial form spores with a thick coat and the spore form can remain dormant for years. ...Read more

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Is my hookah poisoned with anthrax?

Not likely: But using tobacco is a very bad idea. ...Read more

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How is anthrax spread? Is it contagious?

How is anthrax spread? Is it contagious?

Contact with spores: Anthrax is not spread person to person! as we saw in 2001, spores that were sent thru the mail as a terrorist act can be inhaled & cause pulmonary anthrax. Short of this exposure, spores can be ingested on contaminated (uncooked) food and cause infection from the base of the tongue thru the GI tract. It can also cause a painless sore on the skin. See www.Bt.Cdc.Gov/agent/anthrax. ...Read more

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