- Wash skin with soap and water.
- Start antibiotic treatment if exposure is suspected but not yet confirmed.
- Treat mail with low doses of radiation; irradiating mail kills anthrax spores.
- Use special mail handling procedures, such as wearing gloves and masks, to prevent cutaneous anthrax.
Assessing the Risk
Because it is a naturally occurring bacteria and is studied in thousands of labs, anthrax is readily available.
Anthrax spores are highly stable and can survive in the environment for decades.
Terrorists would have to be highly skilled to mill weapons-grade anthrax spores or distribute them effectively to inflict mass casualties.
Anthrax is highly lethal and may potentially be made more so by engineering it to be resistant to antibiotics.
More information on disasters and emergencies is available at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's website: http://www.hhs.gov/emergency