Brucellosis

Clarisa Anderson

Brucellosis

Brucellosis of cattle, known as "contagious abortion" which can also cause a disease of humans known as "undulant fever". Brucellosis infection of cattle causes abortion or premature calving of recently infected animals.

Causes

Brucellosis is caused by infection with the bacterium brucella abortus. Brucellosis can remain undetected for prolonged periods as there are no clinical signs until abortion occurs.

Symptoms for humans

Brucellosis may begin with some flu-like symptoms or symptoms such as:


  • Abdominal pain
  • Back pain
  • Chills
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss

Treatment

Antibiotics are used to treat the infection and prevent it from coming back. Vaccinations are available for cattle, but not for humans.

Prevention

Drinking and eating only pasteurized milk and cheeses is the most important way to prevent Brucellosis. People who handle meat should wear protective glasses and clothing and protect skin breaks from infection.