Brucellosis – Overview, Cause, Symptoms and Prevention

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What is Brucellosis?

Brucellosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria, Brucella, and is primarily a reproductive disease; however, it can also cause reoccurring fevers, arthritis, or udder infection (Mastitis).

Who can be affected by Brucellosis?

Brucellosis can affect sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, horses, rats, deer, bison, elk, moose, camels, water buffalo, marine animals, dogs, and even humans!

What are the symptoms of Brucellosis?

Brucellosis causes reproductive problems, such as, abortions, stillbirths, and infertility. Arthritis in cows and pigs, mastitis and lameness in goats, and oozing skin lesions in horses. Brucellosis cause flu like symptoms in humans, such as, fever, night sweats, headaches, back pain, arthritis, and rarely can involve the nervous system, eyes, or heart.

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How to prevent Brucellosis?

A vaccination program is in affect in the United States to control Brucellosis. It is recommended to thoroughly clean and disinfect areas exposed to infected animals, their urine, blood, milk, or fluid discharges, and always keep sick animals separate from other animals to avoid spreading the disease. Do not eat or drink raw milk or consume unpasteurized dairy products. Wear protective clothes/gloves when handling reproductive tissues, and always wash your hands after touching animals.

How can my animals and I get Brucellosis?

Brucella is usually spread through contact with infected birthing tissues and fluids, raw milk, blood, urine, semen, feces, ingestion, direct contact with mucous membranes, or breaks in the skin. Brucella can also be transmitted by contaminated objects, such as, equipment, clothing, shoes, hay, feed, or water.

This Infographic was created by Casey Emerson.

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