Health: Anthrax

If you remember the 2001 anthrax attacks, you would think that the government has the deadly disease’s prevention under control. Even over a decade after the attempted bioterrorist attacks against several news agencies and United States senators the week after September 11th, 2001, the Centers for Disease Control have not perfected a method for containing anthrax. The attacks took place in the form of mailed letters; the paper that was used in the letters was laced with the bacteria. Anthrax is a highly contagious disease caused by a bacterium known as Bacillus anthracis that affects both humans and animals; when the bacteria are inhaled, ingested, or come into contact with the skin of a host, they infect and attack. The CDC’s supervision of anthrax research has recently come under fire, since dozens of CDC workers almost came into contact with the disease due to improper handling of the bacteria. The disease was transferred in Ziploc bags, which is obviously not approved to carry such a dangerous pathogen. Representatives recently held an Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations hearing on the issue, where closer scrutiny of CDC practices have been demanded.

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