Early symptoms depend on the type of exposure:
- Cutaneous (skin) anthrax can show up immediately as an itchy bump that turns into a sore and then a painless ulcer with a black center.
- Digestive anthrax symptoms include nausea, loss of appetite, bloody diarrhea, and stomach pain.
- Inhaled anthrax symptoms are similar to flu and can include fever, muscle aches, headache, cough, and fatigue.
1. See a Health Care Provider Immediately
2. Follow Up
Once you see a health care provider, the next steps depend on the particular case.
- If the person has been exposed to anthrax but doesn't have symptoms, a health care provider will give an anthrax vaccine and prescribe antibiotics.
- If the anthrax case is serious, the person will be hospitalized. And, given antibiotics, anthrax antitoxins and other aggressive, supportive therapy.
- If you have any reason to believe that anthrax exposure is linked to foul play, contact local law enforcement immediately.