Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Anthrax is a zoonotic infection caused by Bacillus anthracis. We aimed to retrospectively evaluate cutaneous anthrax cases that occurred during an outbreak in eastern Turkey (Hakkari-Yüksekova), where people mostly earn their living from animal husbandry. Materials and methods: Forty-six cutaneous anthrax patients that were admitted to the hospital during a very short duration of 3 months (June-August 2011) were evaluated. Results: Out of 46 patients, 27 (52%) were women and 19 (48%) were men. The mean age was 37 ± 13 years. The distribution of occupations was 1 butcher, 1 cook, 5 farmers, 27 housewives, 11 shepherds, and 1 teacher. Multiple lesions were seen in 7 patients (15%) and the rest of the patients had only 1 lesion. We observed significant clinical differences among the cases and noted which particular symptoms were associated with the various skin lesions. We treated our patients with intramuscular procaine penicillin or oral ciprofloxacin/doxycycline. Conclusion: Anthrax is an important health problem that can cause lethal outbreaks. Therefore, one should think about anthrax when faced with a patient with history of animal contact that has a painless ulcer with edema and/or vesicles, especially in endemic countries like Turkey.


Bacillus anthracis, cutaneous anthrax, animal husbandry

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