Health officials in Zacatecas state in north-central Mexico are reporting 19 human cases of brucellosis in five municipalities, according to a El Sol de Zacatecas report (computer translated).
Raúl Pinales Sarabia, coordinator of Sanitary Jurisdiction number IV says there are 3 cases registered in the municipality of Francisco R Murguía, 3 cases in the municipality of Juan Aldama, 3 more in Cañitas de Felipe Pescador, 4 in Miguel Auza, and 6 in the municipality of Rio Grande. Sarabia says an outbreak has been ruled out as the cases are isolated and have not been presented in whole families or in a specific group of people.
“It is the responsibility of sanitary regulation to carry out the sampling of products, especially goats’ cheese and thus verify that they are free of this disease, and the department of epidemiology performs the sampling for confirmatory tests at the state level, which is why there are 19 cases already confirmed”, he said.
People should be very careful when consuming goat cheeses and people who work and live with sheep and goats, he added.
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.
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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