What is glanders?
Glanders is a disease caused by the bacteria, Burkholderia mallei. Glanders mostly occurs in horses, mules and donkeys. Humans can get the disease, but it is rare. Laboratory workers and those in direct contact with infected animals have become sick with glanders. Glanders has not been seen in the United States since 1945. It is thought by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that glanders could be used as a weapon.
Glanders can occur as the following infections:
How can someone come into contact with glanders?
Glanders can spread from person to person. Humans can come into contact with it when —
What happens if someone gets sick from glanders?
The symptoms of glanders depend on how a person gets it.
How likely is someone to die from glanders?
Most cases of glanders do not result in death unless the infection spreads to the bloodstream. In those cases, the person will usually die within seven to 10 days. It is unknown how deadly the other forms of glanders are because there have been no cases in the United States since 1945.
Reviewed and revised 5/2012