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
  • Infection can occur though the consumption of undercooked meats and/or raw dairy (unpasteurized) from infected animals
  • 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 vary 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.