What are the symptoms of anthrax infection?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Symptoms of anthrax occur anywhere from a few hours to seven days after exposure. They vary depending on the type of exposure.

If inhaled, a person shows flu-like symptoms: fever, aches, fatigue, nonproductive cough, chest discomfort, breathing difficulties, sweating, and blue lips and extremities.

If eaten, a person experiences nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain, vomiting of blood, and severe diarrhea.

If exposed on the skin, a person experiences itching, depressed black scars, redness, and swelling.
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Symptoms of anthrax vary, depending on how the illness was contracted. If anthrax bacteria entered through a cut, then a lump on the skin similar to an insect bite is the main symptom. The lump will become a sore characterized by a blackened center. This is known as cutaneous anthrax.

Inhalation anthrax has symptoms similar to a cold or flu. A person with inhalation anthrax may experience a sore throat, and fever.

Intestinal anthrax, which is contracted from eating infected meat, may result in stomach pain, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.