Naturally occurring illness due to Bacillus anthracis is under control throughout much of the world; however, the microorganism remains a biological agent and can be used for terroristic purposes. This article provides a discussion of the pathogenesis, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of anthrax and the information necessary to manage patients and educate the public about this disease.

Once an obscure disease, anthrax has recently received widespread publicity as a consequence of its use as a biological weapon. Understanding the history , unique characteristics, and pathogenesis of this disease provides insight into threats posed by the organism that causes it. Further, understanding concepts related to the pathogenesis, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of anthrax can equip critical care nurses with information needed to manage patients with anthrax if the patients require intensive care and to educate the public about this disease....

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