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Anthrax is a type of disease that is caused by the bacteria called Bacillus anthracis. This bacterium is found widely in many places of the world. However, it has become more common in Central and South America. The anthrax bacteria live in the soil. The bacteria create spores that can survive in the soil for several years. When the livestock grazes in this type of soil, then they also ingest the bacteria. If a human being eats or comes in close contact with the infected livestock, then they can get affected by anthrax. However, anthrax can also contracted by inhaling the bacteria.
In England, in the olden days, anthrax was known as the rag pickers disease or wool sorters disease. Mostly people in these professions only got the disease. Some ancient documents in Egypt show that there was plague in the country, and many historians believe that this plague could have been anthrax. Over the years and documentation of various diseases wherever anthrax has been mentioned, it looks like animals were involved. Also, people who handled animals in any way only got this disease. Anthrax can also spread through leather and wool. Anthrax was used as a war weapon in the 1915 and it was injected into the livestock of the enemies.
Japan started using biological weapons in 1937 and they also had anthrax on their mind. In 1943 the United States started developing anthrax as a biological weapon. However, today the immigration department of various countries makes sure that food and other likely categories that can carry biological weapons are screened thoroughly.
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