What is BRUCELLOSIS?
Brucellosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria of the genus Brucella. This bacteria is commonly passed among animals and affects sheep, goats, cattle, deer, elk pigs, dogs and many more species. Humans can become infected by coming in contact with animals or animal products contaminated with the bacteria. Symptoms are similar to the flu and can range from fever, sweats, headaches, back pains, and physical weakness. In severe cases, infections of the nervous system or lining of the heart may occur and can lead to chronic or long-lasting symptoms that include recurrent fevers, joint pain and fatigue.
Brucellosis is not very common in the U.S.A. World areas currently listed as high risk include:
the Mediterranean Basin (Portugal, Spain, Southern France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, North Africa), South and Central America, Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East.
Humans are infected by: eating or drinking something that is contaminated with Brucella, inhaling the organism, or having the bacteria enter in through wounds. While direct person-to-person contact is rare, breast feeding mothers run the risk of transferring the bacteria to their breast fed children, sexual transmission and contaminated tissue transplant (although this is rare). To avoid infection do not consume
unpasteurized milk, cheese, or ice cream while traveling. If you are not sure that the dairy product is pasteurized, don't eat it. Hunters and animal herdsman should use rubber gloves when handling viscera of animals. There is no vaccine available for humans.
Source: Centers for Disease Control
Get more information on BRUCELLOSIS from the Centers for Disease Control.