Quiz about Anthrax Facts
Quiz about Anthrax Facts

Anthrax Facts Trivia Quiz


Anthrax is a rare disease these days, but can still be lethal. Find out what you know about it by taking this quiz.
This is a renovated/adopted version of an old quiz by author Bridgie_gurl

A multiple-choice quiz by rossian. Estimated time: 2 mins.
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Author
rossian
Time
2 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
59,725
Updated
Feb 20 23
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
89
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Kabdanis (6/10), Guest 73 (6/10), Guest 172 (6/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Anthrax is a bacterial disease spread by spores which are commonly found where? Hint

In soil
In faecal matter
In water
In infected mosquitos

2. Bacillus anthracis is the name of the bacterium which causes anthrax. What does bacillus mean? Hint

Spherical
Comma
Spiral
Rod

3. There are three main types of anthrax infection. Which of them is the most common? Hint

Skin
Gastrointestinal
Inhalation
They are roughly equal

4. A vaccine against anthrax was developed as long ago as the late nineteenth century by which scientist? Hint

Edward Jenner
Louis Pasteur
Max Theiler
Albert Sabin

5. Woolsorters' disease is another name for anthrax.

True
False

6. What is the main symptom of cutaneous (skin) anthrax? Hint

A rash covering the whole body
Muscle paralysis
Small white spots on the face
Black scab

7. Which type of anthrax has the worst prognosis, especially if treatment is not started soon after infection?

Gastrointestinal
Inhalation

8. Which domestic animals are least likely to be affected by anthrax? Hint

Sheep
Poultry
Goats
Cattle

9. An outbreak of anthrax in Scotland during late 2009 and 2010 was caused when which of these was contaminated with the bacteria? Hint

Tobacco
Heroin
Whisky
Cocaine

10. During World War II scientists investigated the use of anthrax for biological warfare leaving Gruinard Island severely contaminated. Where is this island located? Hint

Scotland
Russia
Mexico
Pacific Ocean


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Anthrax is a bacterial disease spread by spores which are commonly found where?

Answer: In soil

The spores occur naturally in soil and are notoriously difficult to eradicate. Animals can become infected when they come into contact with the spores and pass on the disease to humans via their skin, meat or wool. Herbivorous animals are particularly at risk of picking up the infection while grazing, especially on uncultivated ground.

In developed countries, farm animals at risk are routinely vaccinated. Anthrax is rare in the USA and UK, but is more common in Africa, southern Europe and in parts of Asia.
2. Bacillus anthracis is the name of the bacterium which causes anthrax. What does bacillus mean?

Answer: Rod

The bacteria are shaped like short sticks and are described as rod-shaped. Anthracis means black, as in anthracite coal, because of the symptoms in one type of infection. The bacteria were identified by the German scientist Robert Koch in 1876. His work laid the basis for the germ theory of disease as the medical world began to understand that illnesses were caused by pathogens. Koch is often described as the founder of bacteriology and, therefore, saviour of countless lives.

Spherical bacteria are known as cocci, spiral are spirilla and vibrios is the name for bacteria which are shaped like commas.
3. There are three main types of anthrax infection. Which of them is the most common?

Answer: Skin

Skin, or, as the medical profession would describe it, cutaneous anthrax is by far the most prevalent version of anthrax accounting for over 90% of cases. Spores are able to find their way into the human body via cuts or other broken skin and multiply rapidly. Initial symptoms are blisters, which turn into ulcers.

Anthrax can be diagnosed by blood tests to check for antibodies and treatment with antibiotics is effective, meaning the death rate is minimal in skin anthrax. Early diagnosis is important as the earlier treatment begins, the better the prognosis. Anthrax is not contagious, although infected patients are usually quarantined.
4. A vaccine against anthrax was developed as long ago as the late nineteenth century by which scientist?

Answer: Louis Pasteur

Pasteur was another pioneer of germ theory, as he began to understand the role of microorganisms in causing diseases. Once he had got to grips with this, he was able to work on ways to prevent illness rather than just trying to cure it.

Pasteur's first success was establishing the causes of a disease in silkworms, which was ruining France's silk industry. After a stroke in 1868, he focused his full time attention on microbiology, discovering that weakening the microbes created an effective vaccine. Pasteur's first success came with fowl cholera, with anthrax next on the list. He proved the effectiveness of his anthrax vaccine very publicly by infecting vaccinated and unvaccinated animals with a virulent form of the disease. The vaccinated animals survived while the others didn't - probably not an experiment to be replicated on humans. Pasteur then created a vaccine against rabies.

All the other names refer to pioneers of vaccination, but Jenner (smallpox) is too early and Theiler (yellow fever) and Sabin (polio) too late to fit the period quoted in the question.
5. Woolsorters' disease is another name for anthrax.

Answer: True

It can also be called ragpickers' disease and other similar names related to working with animal products. As you can imagine, sorting out fleeces in the days before antibiotics was extremely risky with a high chance of infection via the skin or inhalation of spores, with the latter being more serious.

In the UK, Yorkshire was particularly prone to outbreaks from contaminated sheep fleeces and the name of woolsorters' disease is associated with the region.
6. What is the main symptom of cutaneous (skin) anthrax?

Answer: Black scab

The infection begins with a swelling resembling a boil which then ulcerates. A scab, called an eschar, then forms which has a distinctive black colouration. The lesions are painless. Internally, the infection can spread to lymph nodes, which does cause discomfort. Even without treatment, most people recover and the death rate is under 25% for those who don't receive treatment with antibiotics.

Those most at risk are those who work with animal products, such as skins and fleeces, and workers in trades which use these raw materials are advised to take up vaccinations. Military personnel are also considered an at risk category for which vaccination is recommended.
7. Which type of anthrax has the worst prognosis, especially if treatment is not started soon after infection?

Answer: Inhalation

Inhalation anthrax has the highest mortality rate, occurring when spores are breathed in. The disease doesn't directly affect the lungs - it starts by infecting the lymph nodes in the chest but can spread quickly to the whole body. Symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, general aches, excess sweating and tiredness, all of which are similar to those of influenza so it is important to establish whether or not the patient has been in contact with animals who might be carrying the spores. The survival rate without treatment is under 20%.

Gastrointestinal anthrax is rare and is caused by eating raw or undercooked contaminated meat. The mortality rate for this form is around 50% if untreated.
8. Which domestic animals are least likely to be affected by anthrax?

Answer: Poultry

Anthrax primarily affects herbivorous animals, with cattle, sheep and goats being the most susceptible among domestic animals. Wild animals, such as deer, antelopes and camels, are also at risk. Horses can also be affected and anthrax has been found in swine as well as in carnivores such as dogs and cats. The latter animals do have some natural resistance and usually recover - they are likely to pick up the disease by eating contaminated meat.

Birds, generally, are not affected and are considered to be at low risk of developing the disease. Spores have been found in some wild birds, including vultures who may have eaten meat contaminated with anthrax.
9. An outbreak of anthrax in Scotland during late 2009 and 2010 was caused when which of these was contaminated with the bacteria?

Answer: Heroin

The outbreak occurred among heroin users who injected drugs infected with anthrax spores. This was a serious outbreak and some sites have added injection anthrax to the list of types, although it is mostly seen as a variation of cutaneous anthrax as it is caused by the bacteria getting into the body via the skin. The Scottish outbreak was centred around Glasgow and is believed to have been caused by contamination of heroin in Turkey. The strain identified is associated with goats in that country, although the source was never identified and the contamination may have occurred at the beginning of the supply chain, in Afghanistan or Pakistan.

The outbreak caused the deaths of fourteen people with over one hundred more suffering serious illness as a result of injecting the contaminated drugs, and cases were found across Scotland. Since then, occasional cases among drug users have been found in other European countries, including Germany and France.
10. During World War II scientists investigated the use of anthrax for biological warfare leaving Gruinard Island severely contaminated. Where is this island located?

Answer: Scotland

In 1942, the British government acquired Gruinard Island and used it for experiments using anthrax. Sheep were placed on the island and bombs containing anthrax spores were released - the sheep did not live to tell the tale. The experiment proved to the government that dropping anthrax on German cities would be an effective tactic, but one which was, thankfully, never used.

The experiment did prove that anthrax would work as a biological weapon, but the risks involved in large scale use were too difficult to control. Anthrax has been used for biological attacks on occasions, but in small scale methods, often being sent through the post to targets.

Gruinard was abandoned and placed in quarantine after the war ended as tests on the soil found that areas were still heavily contaminated by spores. Eventually, in 1986, work was carried out to clean up the soil, using formaldehyde and sea water and the island was declared safe in 1990. Sheep were brought back to graze there with no ill effects, but the island is still pretty much abandoned even into the twenty-first century.
Source: Author rossian

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor WesleyCrusher before going online.
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