anthrax

Cultural Dictionary

anthrax definition


An infectious disease transmitted by a bacterium in animals, which can also be transmitted to humans. Often fatal if the bacterium enters the lungs, anthrax is usually treated by antibiotics. Anthrax is a potential weapon in germ warfare and bioterrorism.

Note: After the September 11 attacks (2001) in the United States, anthrax spores sent through the mail caused several fatalities.
Note: If spores are prepared in a sophisticated way, they can stay in the air and be breathed in by human beings. Anthrax produced in this way is referred to as weaponized anthrax.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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