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Pediatr Dermatol. 2010 Nov-Dec;27(6):600-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1470.2010.01214.x. Epub 2010 Nov 18.

Clinical findings in children with cutaneous anthrax in eastern Turkey.

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1
Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Yüzüncü Yıl University, Van, Turkey. drsinanakbayram@gmail.com

Abstract

Anthrax is a zoonosis produced by Bacillus anthracis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical findings, therapy, and outcome in children with cutaneous anthrax (CA). Data on age, gender, occupation, clinical symptoms and findings, location and type of lesions, clinical history, laboratory findings, treatment, and outcome were recorded from patients' medical records, retrospectively. The study included 65 patients between 1 month and 18 years old (9.0±4.0 years), 37 patients (56.9%) were male and 28 (43.1%) were female. Most of the patients (89.1%) were admitted in summer and autumn (p<0.001). Of the 65 patients, 20 patients (30.8%) had received antibiotherapy before admission to our hospital. All patients except one had a contact history with infected animals. A 1-month-old patient had a contact history with his mother who had CA. On clinical examination, anthrax edema was noted in 36 (55.3%) patients, anthrax pustule in 27 (41.5%), and anthrax edema and anthrax pustule in two (3%) patients. Gram staining and culture was positive for B. anthracis in 35 (53.8%) patients, and only Gram staining was positive in 10 (15.4%) patients. In the remaining 20 (30.8%) patients, the diagnosis was made by clinical findings. Because the anthrax outbreak in Turkey was associated with slaughtering or milking of ill cows, sheep, or goats, and handling raw meat without taking any protective measures, persons in the community must be educated about using personal protective equipment during slaughtering of animals and handling of meat and skins.

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