CDC Employees Exposed to Deadly Bacteria
On June 19, 2014, the CDC announced that about 75 Atlanta based staff may have been exposed to life Bacillus anthracis, or anthrax, the deadly bacterial spores which were used as weapons of biological terrorism is 2001. The number of exposed staff has since been increased to 84, with 7 at increased risk because they had more direct exposure to the spores.
B.anthracis is a spore-forming, gram positive bacillus, which when inhaled carries a high mortality. The spores can enter the body cutaneously, enterally, via injection or via inhalation. Patients with inhalation anthrax will present with fever, chills, headache, chest pain, cough and difficulty breathing, and will require hospitalization even though they may not appear critically ill. These patients are susceptible to sudden decline and hemodynamic monitoring should be initiated. Chest CT and CXR will show characteristically widened mediastinum and pleural effusions.