Anthrax is an acute disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Most forms of the disease are lethal, and it affects both humans and animals. There are effective vaccines against anthrax, and some forms of the disease respond well to antibiotic treatment.
Anthrax spores can be produced in vitro and used as a biological weapon. Anthrax does not spread directly from one infected animal or person to another; it is spread by spores. These spores can be transported by clothing or shoes. The body of an animal that had active anthrax at the time of death can also be a source of anthrax spores.
Anthrax in The War That Came Early
The Japanese military experimented (on Soviet and Chinese prisoners) with weaponizing anthrax during World War II, among other infectious bacteria. In the beginning of 1943, Japanese planes, launched from Midway, dropped fleas infected with the plague and containers of anthrax over Honolulu, Hawaii, prompting mass inoculations.
- Two Fronts, pgs 275-278.
- Ibid., pgs. 279-282.