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Anthrax – a disease caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis, can be acquired from spores that survive in the soil for many years.  Anthrax is a highly dangerous zoonotic disease and affects all animals and humans.

anthrax lesion
Human Cutanous Antrax
How is it transmitted? The respiratory and digestive forms of anthrax result from the inhalation of spores or the eating of meat from animals infected with anthrax. Cutaneous (skin) anthrax, usually a non fatal form of the disease, is acquired through skin abrasions contaminated with anthrax spores.

death due to anthrax
Death due to anthrax

What are the signs in animals?  fever, respiratory distress, bleeding from orifices, and sudden death.

Any animal found suddenly dead should be reported to the show management and/or show Veterinarian Immediately!

anthrax death
Bleeding from mouth due to Anthrax
What are the symptoms in humans? Anthrax has three forms; cutaneous (skin), inhalation, and gastrointestinal.  Skin infections begin as a raised lesion that is usually painless, but people may also experience fever, malaise, headache, and swollen lymph glands.  Inhalational anthrax resembles a severe respiratory illness with initial symptoms including: sore throat, fever, muscle aches, and malaise. Death is often the outcome. Gastrointestinal symptoms include severe abdominal distress followed by fever and septicemia, and may also result in nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and death unless treated early and aggressively. When anthrax is confirmed in animals it is important that any person(s) having close contact with the affected animal should consult their physician immediately.

cutaneous anthrax
Cutaneous Anthrax

More information at Merck Vet Manual: