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Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis
Anthrax occurs naturally when people are working with infected animals or animal
products such as wool, hides or hair.  However, there is also concern that anthrax
may be used in a bioterrorism attack, and it is considered a Category A Bioterrorism
Agent/Disease (highest priority threat 
The type of illness a person develops depend on the method of anthrax exposure. 
While exposure via cuts and scrapes is most common, this form (cutaneous) is least dangerous. 
Inhalation of anthrax bacteria is the most concerning.   All forms of anthrax can eventually spread
throughout the body and cause death if not treated with antibiotics.  Anthrax is generally not
contagious from person to person.

Anthrax is immediately reportable in Orange County, even if the case has not yet been confirmed
but is suspected.  To report a case, health care providers/facilities should call OCHCA Epidemiology
at 714-834-8180.   
The last human case of anthrax reported in Orange County was in 1928. 

Healthcare Professionals

Laboratory Professionals


Last reviewed November 27, 2018