Anthrax is a bacterial disease that targets sheep, cattle and other hoofed herbivores (grass eating animals) like goats and horses. Occasionally anthrax infects humans. Anthrax is a rare hazard for anyone who works with livestock or their by-products including farmers, abattoir workers, tanners and veterinarians.
Farmers and abattoir workers are more at risk than the general population. The cutaneous (skin) ulcer form is the only type recorded in Australia. There have been three cases affecting humans in the last decade, although sporadic outbreaks in animals occur every year or two.
Anthrax occurs mainly in the pastoral areas of NSW, Northern Victoria and Gippsland.
References used for this topic page
Department of Primary Industries (NSW)
Better Health Channel
Centers for Disease Control (US)
Fact sheet: Anthrax information for health care providers
Department of Health (Vic)
Guidelines for Infectious Diseases: Anthrax
Anthrax control guidelines
Research & reviews:
Vaccines for preventing anthrax [PDF 455kb]
World Health Organization (WHO)
Last updated: 18th November, 2016