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Anthrax: Cabunclo, carbunco, cabunculo

Linda Nyquist, who does public health interpreting for the courts, writes: "The term is "carbunco" (no "l") and is sometimes used for anthrax; however, anthrax in Spanish is antrax, and can be agudo, cronico, cutaneo, intestinal or maligno. It is sometimes called "mal de Chabert." Thanks Linda, but more problems. José Manual de Prada says it is called "carbunco/carbunclo" in animals, but "ántrax" in humans, who get it from the animals. In fact, there are three words in Spanish: 1) carbunco, 2) carbunclo, 3) carbúnculo. 1) refers to anthrax, 2) to carbuncle, 3) to the small black gem. Can you imagine a job more exacting than that of court interpreter? As for Chabert, I finally found him in my Trousset, Dictionnaire Historique. Philibert Chabert (1737-1814) was a famous French veterinarian who wrote a book on anthrax in animals (1783).

I wish to thank others who wrote in about this subject. Since anthrax is normally contracted from cows, perhaps Miles Seeley can tell us if cowboys are commonly infected. Small pox is also related to cows: hence the word vaccine. Experts say that smallpox, which is highly infectious, is far more dangerous as a biological weapon than anthrax.

Ronald Hilton - 10/15/01