Anthrax: A History

Anthrax: A History

by Richard M. Swiderski
     
 

Bacillus anthracis—anthrax—had largely faded from public consciousness until it resurfaced as a terrorist weapon in 2001. It was always with us, lurking in the soil and hosted by our livestock. Long before it was identified as a specific bacterium in the late 1800s, "anthrax" was a catchphrase for a variety of diseases and symptoms, from ancient biblical

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Overview

Bacillus anthracis—anthrax—had largely faded from public consciousness until it resurfaced as a terrorist weapon in 2001. It was always with us, lurking in the soil and hosted by our livestock. Long before it was identified as a specific bacterium in the late 1800s, "anthrax" was a catchphrase for a variety of diseases and symptoms, from ancient biblical plagues to a painful carbuncle on George Washington's leg. Only when industrialization turned anthrax into a widespread disease that threatened economies did a true understanding of Bacillus anthracis begin to emerge.

This history of anthrax follows the development of our understanding of the disease, beginning in the 18th century, when science began breaking ground on the subject, until the present, when anthrax is feared more as an agent of biowarfare than as a health hazard harbored by the environment. There are three appendices: the first outlines the reaction of Manchester, New Hampshire, to the 2001 anthrax attacks; the second documents workplace warnings to anthrax-prone workers; and the third lists novels that involve anthrax. Bibliographical references are also provided.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786418916
Publisher:
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date:
08/05/2004
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : the spore in the machine3
1Three anthraxes7
2Woolsorters and ragpickers10
3Models30
4Mailsorters44
5Only some die51
6Ancient anthraxes63
7Morbus et pestis72
8Charbon, Milzbrand, Koch and Pasteur84
9Seeing anthrax108
10The anthrax bombs124
11Vaccine history144
12The white powder165
13Ground and air185
App. AOctober 2001 in Manchester, New Hampshire219
App. BWarnings to workers221
App. CSome novels with anthrax223
App. DThe Chinese source of spores225

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