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CDC Updates Interim Guidelines for Anthrax Exposure Management and Antimicrobial Therapy - Practice Guidelines
ABSTRACT: Recent events have demonstrated that bioterrorists have the ability to disseminate biologic agents in the United States and cause widespread social panic. Family physicians would play a key role in the initial recognition of a potential bioterrorism attack. Familiarity with the infectious agents of highest priority can expedite diagnosis and initial management, and lead to a successful public health response to such an attack. High-priority infectious agents include anthrax, smallpox, plague, tularemia, botulism, and viral hemorrhagic fever. Anthrax and smallpox must be distinguished from such common infections as influenza and varicella. Anthrax treatment is stratified into postexposure prophylaxis and treatment of confirmed cutaneous, intestinal, or inhalation anthrax. Disease prevention by vaccination and isolation of affected persons is key in preventing widespread smallpox infection. Many resources are available to physicians when a bioterrorism attack is suspected, including local public health agencies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.