Brucellosis

Description
  • Infectious disease caused by bacteria obtained through contact with an infected animal or contaminated objects.
  • Brucellosis is very common in domestic animals, such as:
    • Camels
    • Buffalo
    • Cattle
    • Sheep
    • Goats
    • Pigs
    • Dogs

       
Location

Brucellosis is worldwide, but is more commonly found in areas with poor health regulations and programs. These include:

  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Southern France
  • Italy
  • Greece
  • Turkey
  • Mexico
  • Eastern Europe
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • The Caribbean
  • The Middle East
  • South and Central America

     
Cause
  • The consumption of undercooked meats and/or raw dairy (unpasteurized) from animals that were infected.
  • Bacteria entering the body through open wounds and inhalation.

     
Symptoms
  • Symptoms can vary and initial signs can include:
    • Fever 
    • Headache 
    • Sweats
    • Malaise 
    • Anorexia 
    • Fatigue
    • Pain in your muscles and joints 
  • Some of these can persist and/or get worse with time.

     
Treatment
  • Diagnosis of Brucellosis is done by performing tests through samples of blood, tissue and other body fluids that test for the bacteria.
  • Once the proper diagnosis is made, antibiotics can be prescribed.
  • Recovery can very from a few weeks to a few months and death from brucellosis is rare. 

     
Prevention
  • Do not consume undercooked meat, or unpasteurized dairy products.
  • Avoid contact with animals that could be infected.
  • Animal handlers like farmers, hunters, meat packing workers, veterinarians, etc. should always wear proper safety equipment including gloves, eye protection, and gowns/aprons.

     
Handling
Animals    
  • There is no cure for the Brucella bacteria in animals. However, in the United States, Brucellosis is very rare. 
  • Receiving Brucellosis from an animal such as your dog is most common through contact with the blood or other body fluids from the animal.
  • Most dogs infected with the Brucella bacteria do not spread it to their owners or other humans.

     
Other Facts
  • In the United States, less than 200 people are infected each year.
  • Infection is more common in spring and summer.
  • Brucellosis is a very serious disease in other parts of the world that lack effective animal disease control programs.