Outbreak News Today

15 people being treated for Brucellosis in Paraguay outbreak

The latest in the brucellosis outbreak linked to the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences of the National University of Asunción in Paraguay shows that fifteen people are in treatment or follow-up, according to the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare (MSPyBS).

There are 15 patients who are in treatment and follow-up, with antibiotics for a period of 6 weeks and who will have serological follow-up for two years; every three months of laboratory analysis, once the treatment with antibiotics of 6 weeks is completed, La Nacion reports (computer translated).

Goat kids
Public domain image/Rosendahl

In addition, tomorrow, November 21, the sample collection will again be carried out, as part of the second control, to people who were exposed to the goats and who gave a negative result the first time.

The outbreak agent has been confirmed as Brucella melitensis by culture in both the humans and in goats.

The patients were exposed to goats between May and October after being in contact with livestock goat from the practice center of the San Lorenzo campus.

Related: New York City issues advisory after imported Brucella melitensis cases expose microbiology laboratory workers

Brucellosis is a contagious disease of animals that also affects humans. The disease is also known as Bang’s Disease. In humans, it’s known as Undulant Fever.

Brucellosis is one of the most serious diseases of livestock, considering the damage done by the infection in animals. Decreased milk production, weight loss, loss of young, infertility, and lameness are some of the affects on animals.

The Brucella species are named for their primary hosts: Brucella melitensis is found mostly is goats,sheep and camels, B. abortus is a pathogen of cattle, B. suis is found primarily in swine and B. canis is found in dogs.

There are two common ways people get infected with brucellosis. First, individuals that work with infected animals that have not been vaccinated against brucellosis. This would include farmers, slaughterhouse workers and veterinarians.

Related: College microbiology classes linked to Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak

They get infected through direct contact or aerosols produced by the infected animal tissue. B. abortus and B. suis are most common.

The second way is through ingesting unpasteurized dairy products.

Brucellosis is also an occupational hazard to laboratory workers who inappropriately handle specimens or have an accident or spill. Brucella is highly infectious in the aerosolized form.

If someone gets infected with Brucella, the incubation period is about 2-3 weeks, though it could be months. Fever, night sweats, severe headache and body aches and other non-specific symptoms may occur.

Acute and chronic brucellosis can lead to complications in multiple organ systems. The skeletal, central nervous system, respiratory tract, the liver, heart, gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts can all be affected. Untreated brucellosis has a fatality rate of 5%.

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