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Who is at Highest Risk for Suffering Complications from Anthrax? 

Updated December 29, 2023

Persons most at risk for complications from anthrax are those who do not receive antibiotics quickly, as all forms of anthrax are treatable if caught early. 

Complications are more frequently seen among persons who develop gastrointestinal, inhalation, or injection anthrax, as these are more severe, and often fatal if not promptly treated  - see Prevention and Treatment for more information).

Persons who develop cutaneous anthrax are less likely to suffer complications; however, between five and 20 percent of untreated cutaneous anthrax cases are fatal. With treatment, nearly all infected persons will survive.    

IMPORTANT NOTE: NVIC “Quick Facts” is not a substitute for becoming fully informed about anthrax and the anthrax vaccine. NVIC recommends consumers read comprehensive information NVIC provides on anthrax, the vaccine manufacturer product information inserts, and speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child.

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