Anthrax was a relatively unknown disease in the Western world until 2001, when spores were maliciously mailed in the US, causing five deaths. The mortality of the disease, the stability of its spores and the subsequent lack of person-to-person spread make anthrax an attractive biological weapon for terrorists with a desire for targeted mass destruction.
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Competing interests: None declared.
Patient consent has been received for publication of the figures in this study.