|Note: Homeopathic Treatment requires strict individualization. Please do not take any medicine without consulting your physician/homeopath.
Anthrax is a disease of domestic animals which become infected
by inhaling or ingesting spores of Bacillus anthracis. In man anthrax
is an occupational disease of farmers, butchers, and dealers in
hides, hair, wool, and bone meal from endemic areas. Now a days
there is fear and possibility of virulent anthrax spores being used
as a means of bio-terrorism.
Anthrax - CAUSE
Anthrax - SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
(a) Skin infection - Inoculation of spores subcutaneously is the
commonest mode of spread, Incubation period is usually 1 to 3 days.
A cutaneous lesion begins as an itching papule which enlarges and
forms a vesicle filled with serosanguineous fluid surrounded by
gross edema - the 'malignant pustule'. The lesion is relatively
painless and accompanied by slight enlargement of regional lymph
nodes. The vesicle dries to form a thick black aschar surrounded
In endemic areas patients may exhibit only slight constitutional
symptoms and little edema but in the non-immune person high fever,
toxemia and fatal septicemia may develop.
(b) Ingestion - When infected meat is eaten an ulcer with surrounding
edema may develop in the throat. But often the infection causes
a severe, fatal gastroenteritis.
(c) Inhalation - Spread through inhalation is not very common except
in people working with animal hide and dander. But this is the way
which is potentially most harmful and is the only way in which mass
infection can be caused by terrorists. Such infection can lead to
an acute laryngitis or a virulent hemorrhagic bronchopneumonia (wool-sorter's
(d) Occasionally anthrax may present as meningitis.
Anthrax - HOW DIAGNOSIS IS DONE?
The Bacillus anthracis can be shown in -
- a smear from the edge of a skin lesion
- laryngeal smear
- sputa (in pulmonary infection)
- stool (in gastroenteritis)
- CSF (in meningitis case)
Anthrax - HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT
Homeopathy offers many medicines which may help in anthrax. These
include medicines like arsenic-alb, anthracinum, pyroginum, crot-h,
lachesis, hippoz., echinecia, tarent-c etc. Many homeopaths consider
anthracinum as a preventive medicine for anthrax.
Anthrax - CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT
Antibiotics like penicillin, erythromycin, tetracycline, chloramphenicol,
streptomycin etc are used.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?
Once a person is infected there is little else one can do except
to take treatment. But in endemic areas, those who work with animals
and their products, need to take some measures like:
- Do not sleep on animal hide
- Do not eat meat of an animal which has died suddenly
- Do not take any sore throat or cough lightly.
Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 14th ed, McGraw-Hill
Davidson's Principles and Practise of Medicine, 17th ed, 1996,
New Manual of Homeopathic Materia Medica & Repertory, William
Boericke, 2nd revised ed., 2001, B. Jain