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Study: Anthrax extra troublesome for kids

United Press International (UPI)

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Anthrax may strike kids hardest since the disease in the young is difficult to detect and treat, says a new U.S. government report.

The bacterium -- which exists naturally but is rarely contagious -- can be deadly, especially when contracted in its most dangerous inhaled form. The most widely reported recent cases of anthrax in the United States followed the introduction of bacterial spores into the U.S. mail system in 2001, which resulted in five deaths among 22 cases.

The difficulty of diagnosing anthrax in children may lead to dangerous delays in care if they become infected with this often-deadly disease, according to a new report from Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.