Anthrax /Woolsorter’s Disease/ Rag Picker’s Disease

Anthrax is a severe illness that normally affecting animals, such as goats, cattle, sheep, and horses. It can be transmitted to humans by contacting with infected animals or their products. It can result in blood infection and death. It enters the human body through the intestines,lungs (inhalation),or skin (cutaneous). It does not usually spread from an infected human to a non infected human.



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This bacterial infection is rare in humans in the United States and developed countries. It occurs in countries lacking public-health regulations. The incubation period (the period between contact with anthrax and the start of symptoms) may be relatively short, from one to five days.

What Are The Causes And How It Spread?

The bacterial infection majorly affects animals such as sheep, cattle, goats and the humans who came into contact with infected animals. It is caused by bacterium named as Bacillus anthracis.

Three main routes of infection are – Cutaneous anthrax- This type occurs when anthrax spores touch a cut or scrape on the skin. Anthrax is found most commonly when humans handle infected animals and/or animal products and is one of most common, people at risk of this anthrax are – wool workers and veterinarians. This typex affects body area such as arms, head and neck.

Inhalation anthrax – This type develops when spores of anthrax enter the lungs through the respiratory tract. The bacteria spores must “germinate” before the actual disease occurs. The process usually takes 1 to 6 days. Once the spores germinate, release l toxic substances causing internal bleeding, swelling, and tissue death. Oropharyngeal (mouth and throat) anthrax- Swallowing of anthrax spores results in anthrax appearing in the mouth and throat two to seven days after exposure with difficulty in swallowing Gastrointestinal anthrax- this type occurs on consuming anthrax-infected meat. Symptoms include nausea, loss of appetite, fever, and diarrhea.

Anthrax meningitis – It may spread to lining of central nervous system and brain.

How Do I Know I Have Anthrax /Woolsorter's Disease/ Rag picker's Disease?
Patient may have symptoms like

• High fever
• Difficulty in breathing
• Shock
• Meningitis (inflammation of brain and spinal cord)
• Discomfort in chest
• Fatigue
• Muscle ache
• Sore throat
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Loss of appetite
• Swollen neck
• Difficulty in swallowing
• Bloody diarrhea
• Cutaneous anthrax – A raised, itchy bump resembling an insect bite that quickly develops into a painless sore with a black center
• Abdominal pain
• Painless sores
• Chest pain

Test To Be Done For the Disease

• Complete history of patient
• Occupation of patient
• Blood culture
• Chest X-ray
• Biopsy
• Chest CT scan
• Sputum culture
• Throat swab

Is Anthrax /Woolsorter's Disease/ Rag picker's Disease Treatable?

• Antibiotics treatment –Penicillin , tetracycline , ciproflaxin
• Anthrax vaccine


With antibiotics, anthrax is likely to get better. However,20% of people not getting treatment may die if anthrax spreads to the blood.

Lifestyle Changes Can Help To Manage This Disease

• Person contaminated should wash their hands and feet with soap and water.
• Chemo prophylaxis with antibiotics
• For lowering risk of getting anthrax
• Avoiding eating meat which has not been properly cooked.
• Avoid working with raw animal hides, fur or skin, those of goats, sheep, or cows.

How Is It Treated With Homeopathic Medicines


•Anthracinum medicine is a great remedy in epidemic spleen diseases of domestic animals, and in septic inflammation, carbuncles and malignant ulcers.
•Well indicated remedy in boils and boil like eruptions,acne.
•There are hemorrhages, black, thick, tar-like, rapidly decomposing, from any orifice.
•Helpful medicine in dissecting wounds.
•Also indicated medicine for bad effects from inhaling foul odors.

Arsenicum album

•Well indicated medicine for anthrax.
•Ulcers with offensive discharge.
•Urticaria with burning and restlessness.
•Epithelioma of the skin.
•Gangrenous inflammations.

Carbolic acid

•Carbolic acid is a powerful irritant and anaesthetic.
•There are itching vesicles on skin with burning pain.
•Skin burns red to ulcerate.
•Also indicated for skin problems of anthrax.


•Purpura, septic states, diphtheria and other low forms of disease, when the system is thoroughly poisoned and the prostration is profound.
•Well indicated medicine for ill effects of suppressed discharges.
•Very good medicine for boils, carbuncles, ulcers, with bluish, purple surroundings.
•Varicose ulcers.

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