Outbreak of Oral-Oropharyngeal Anthrax: an Unusual Manifestation of Human Infection with Bacillus Anthracis

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  • 1 Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • | Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, University of Illinois at the Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois 60612
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An oral-oropharyngeal form of human anthrax is described in 24 individuals. The cases occurred as an epidemic in northern Thailand, concurrent with an epidemic of the common cutaneous form. This syndrome is a potentially fatal, febrile illness, characterized by a mucosal lesion in the oral cavity and/or oropharynx which can progress to pseudomembranous necrosis, and to cervical adenopathy and edema. Cattle and water buffaloes, recently arrived from Burma and eaten raw or undercooked, were the probable source of the infection. Determination of etiology was based on both microbiologic and epidemiologic evidence. The clinical syndrome and epidemiology are discussed.

Author Notes

Present address: Section of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, P.O. Box 6998, University of Illinois at the Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois 60680.