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12/08/23 Public Education Topic: Brucellosis

Brucellosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria.

People can get the disease when they are in contact with infected animals or animal products contaminated with the bacteria. Animals that are most commonly infected include sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, and dogs, among others.


Prevention:

The best way to prevent brucellosis infection is to be sure you do not consume:
  • undercooked meat

  • unpasteurized dairy products, including:

    • milk

    • cheese

    • ice cream

Pasteurization is when raw milk is heated to a high temperature for a short period of time. This heating process destroys harmful bacteria that may make the milk unsafe to consume.

If you are not sure that the dairy product is pasteurized, do not eat it.


People who handle animal tissues (such as hunters and animal herdsman) should protect themselves by using:
  • rubber gloves

  • goggles

  • gowns or aprons

This will help ensure that bacteria from potentially infected animals do not get into eyes or inside a cut or abrasion on the skin.


Signs and Symptoms:

Brucellosis can cause of range of signs and symptoms, some of which may present for prolonged periods of time. Initial symptoms can include:

  • fever

  • sweats

  • malaise

  • anorexia

  • headache

  • pain in muscles, joint, and/or back

  • fatigue

Some signs and symptoms may persist for longer periods of time. Others may never go away or reoccur. These can include:

  • recurrent fevers

  • arthritis

  • swelling of the testicle and scrotum area

  • swelling of the heart (endocarditis)

  • neurologic symptoms (in up to 5% of all cases)

  • chronic fatigue

  • depression

  • swelling of the liver and/or spleen

For more information on Brucellosis, including transmission, prevention, treatment, visit:



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