Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of glanders commonly include:

  • Fever with chills and sweating
  • Muscle aches
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle tightness
  • Headache
  • Nasal discharge
  • Light sensitivity (sometimes with excessive tearing of the eyes)

The particular symptoms experienced, however, will vary depending on the type of infection. The four types of infections, along with the symptoms associated with each, are listed below.

Image of sick person.

Localized Infection

If there is a cut or scratch in the skin, a localized infection with ulceration may develop within 1 to 5 days at the site where the bacteria entered the body. Swollen lymph nodes may also be apparent.

Infections involving the mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, and respiratory tract will cause increased mucus production from the affected sites. Dissemination to other locations in the body may occur 1-4 weeks after infection.

Pulmonary Infection

Glanders often manifests itself as pulmonary infection. In pulmonary infections, pneumonia, pulmonary abscesses, and pleural effusion can occur. Chest X-rays will show localized infection in the lobes of the lungs.

Bloodstream Infection

Without treatment, glanders bloodstream infections are usually fatal within 7 to 10 days.

Chronic Infection

The chronic form of glanders involves multiple abscesses within the muscles and skin of the arms and legs or in the lungs, spleen, and/or liver.