The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convened panels of anthrax experts to review and update guidelines for anthrax postexposure prophylaxis and treatment. The panels included civilian and military anthrax experts and clinicians with experience treating anthrax patients. Specialties represented included internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, infectious disease, emergency medicine, critical care, pulmonology, hematology, and nephrology. Panelists discussed recent patients with systemic anthrax; reviews of published, unpublished, and proprietary data regarding antimicrobial drugs and anthrax antitoxins; and critical care measures of potential benefit to patients with anthrax. This article updates antimicrobial postexposure prophylaxis and antimicrobial and antitoxin treatment options and describes potentially beneficial critical care measures for persons with anthrax, including clinical procedures for infected nonpregnant adults. Changes from previous guidelines include an expanded discussion of critical care and clinical procedures and additional antimicrobial choices, including preferred antimicrobial drug treatment for possible anthrax meningitis.
In August 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in partnership with the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, convened a meeting of national subject matter experts to review key clinical elements of anthrax prevention and treatment for pregnant, postpartum, and lactating (P/PP/L) women. National experts in infectious disease, obstetrics, maternal fetal medicine, neonatology, pediatrics, and pharmacy attended the meeting, as did representatives from professional organizations and national, federal, state, and local agencies. The meeting addressed general principles of prevention and treatment for P/PP/L women, vaccines, antimicrobial prophylaxis and treatment, clinical considerations and critical care issues, antitoxin, delivery concerns, infection control measures, and communication. The purpose of this meeting summary is to provide updated clinical information to health care providers and public health professionals caring for P/PP/L women in the setting of a bioterrorist event involving anthrax.