October 25, 2016

Time Traveling Anthrax Bacteria Sickens People


This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Apt Prepper son spotted this piece of news this morning via Reddit and The Washington Post:  Russian authorities evacuated a remote area in Siberia after anthrax killed 1500 reindeer and sickened around 40 people.  Possibly more people, mostly  exposed to the bacteria.  They have sent biological warfare troops and quarantined the area.

What is anthrax?

Anthrax is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis.  According to the CDC, the type of sickness depends on how the bacteria entered the body:

  • stomach, by eating infected meat  (abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting)
  • skin that came in contact with infected animals (blisters and ulcers with a black center) or
  • breathed into the lungs (chest pain, fever, flu-like symptoms).

Fortunately, it is treatable with antibiotics, such as ciproflaxin or doxycyclin.  It is not usually spread between humans but between human and animals.  However, there is always a possibility the victim may not respond to antibiotic treatment and eventually die.

You might remember the anthrax terror attacks in the U.S. back in 2001 soon after 9/11.  12 people were infected and five died from inhaling deadly anthrax spores that came via U.S. mail.   5 US Postal Services offices were contaminated.

Russia has not had an outbreak of anthrax in 75 years.


The cause of the outbreak is said to be an infected reindeer that had died 75 years ago.  The reindeer carcass thawed out during the hot summer and the once dormant 75 year old bacteria became active again.

This sounds creepy and almost unbelievable but apparently it can happen according to this article.  Frozen microbes can “wake up” and start infecting all over again.

It is comforting to note that anthrax is curable, and there is a vaccine for high risk individuals.  What is worrisome is what if a microbe from a long dead animal or human that causes a deadly plague from centuries ago, which does not have a cure, suddenly becomes active again?

How do you protect yourself from a plague?

People who read this may wonder, what if a pandemic happens from one of these once dormant germs that suddenly wake up?  Check out one of my previous articles How an Average Person can Prepare for a Pandemic Also read The Hot Zone if you haven’t already.  It tells how close we came to having a pandemic right here in the U.S.

Indeed, the origin of this new outbreak sounds like it came out of a fiction book but it is true.  I am surprised I did not hear about this in the morning news when it happened.   As usual, many stations either did not cover it or glossed over it very quickly.   Not trying to scare anyone, but it is best to be aware.  Get your news from different sources and be vigilant.


© Apartment Prepper 2016

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