Brucella canis infects humans in UK. What is it?

A dog disease called Brucella canis has spread to humans in the UK. This bacterial infection can be transmitted to humans through contact with infected bodily fluids.This bacterial infection, primarily found in dogs, is highly contagious and can be transmitted to humans through direct contact with infected dogs or their reproductive or blood products.

Symptoms of Brucella canis

The symptoms of Brucella canis infection in humans are often mild and non-specific, making it difficult to diagnose. Common signs include intermittent or irregular fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, sweating, headaches, fatigue, and back or joint pain.

How is Brucella canis transmitted to humans?

Transmission of Brucella canis to humans primarily occurs through direct contact or aerosol exposure to infected animal fluids. Ingesting the bacteria or contamination of mucous membranes and breaks in the skin can also lead to infection. It’s worth noting that the most common way people contract the disease is by consuming unpasteurized, contaminated milk or cheese.

Diagnosis of Brucella canis

Diagnosis of brucellosis usually involves a blood test and the infection is treated with a course of antibiotics for at least six weeks. Despite the lengthy treatment period, patients should make a full recovery, and the infection is unlikely to return.

Prevention of Brucella canis

Prevention of brucellosis is crucial as there is currently no vaccine available. Avoid direct or mucus membrane contact with bodily fluids (like urine, faeces, vomit, saliva, blood, wound drainage, and reproductive fluids) from infected dogs.

Those handling animals should wear rubber gloves, especially when dealing with the internal organs of animals.

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