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Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) is an acute infectious disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium. The most common victims of anthrax are warm-blooded animals, but it can also infect humans. Anthrax spores can be produced in a powdery form for biological warfare. When inhaled by humans, these particles cause respiratory failure and death within a week. Because anthrax is considered to be a potential agent for use in biological warfare, the Department of Defense (DOD), in 1998, announced it would begin a systematic vaccination of all U.S. military personnel.
The plague also recurred in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in huge pandemics in Asia, and continues to be a threat today. The agent of plague, the bacterium bacillus Yersinia pestis, is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected fleas. Yersinia pestis is carried in the circulatory systems of chipmunks, prairie dogs, ground squirrels, mice, and other mammals. The plague is spread among humans by the inhalation of coughs of plague pneumonia. Although it is tempting to dismiss this pathogen as only active in outbreaks like the Black Death, and despite that the medical community found solutions to plague, plague continues to threaten those who live in areas of poor housing and sanitati... ... middle of paper ... ...f Person-to-Person Transmission of Pneumonic Plague.” Healthcare Epidemiology.
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