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Who Is At Risk

images showing occupations - vet with farmer and his calf, work in a bsl-3 lab, gloved hands sorting mail, military personnel in a crouch with weapon, emergency responders unloading an ambulance

Anyone who has come in contact with anthrax spores could be at risk of getting sick. Most people will never be exposed to anthrax. However there are activities that can put some people at greater risk of exposure than others.

Recommendations for protecting workers are available from CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. This guidance covers the use of respirators, protective clothing, and the anthrax vaccine.

The anthrax vaccine is currently provided only to people who are at an increased risk of coming in contact with anthrax spores, such as members of the U.S. military, certain laboratory workers, and some people who handle animals or animal products (for example, farmers, veterinarians, and livestock handlers). The vaccine is not licensed for use in children under age 18, adults over age 65, or pregnant and nursing women.

To learn more about risks related to specific occupations, visit Information for Specific Groups.