As health conditions worsen in a spate of deadly anthrax cases, several state and local school districts are beginning to look at ways to deal with students with fevers and infection. Experts say the scale of the outbreak poses a serious challenge, even as some schools have nurse educators with the authority to absolve students of absences if they feel unwell.
The hot temperatures in recent days have increased the risk of illness in those affected by anthrax. The body’s immune system can be weakened by heat and stress, as well as poor sanitary conditions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is investigating these latest cases, says heat can lead to the organism sticking to skin or clothes, allowing them to expand. This compacts the anthrax bacteria, giving more spores a chance to multiply, triggering an attack. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for a person to develop symptoms.
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