Brucellosis Outbreak in China

  • Brucellosis disease, also known as Malta fever or Mediterranean fever, is a bacterial infection that spreads from animals to humans.
  • Breathing in the bacteria that cause brucellosis can also lead to the infection.
  • Thousands of people in northwest China tested positive for a bacterial infection.
  • It is an infectious disease caused by a group of bacteria from the genus Brucella. These bacteria can infect both humans and animals – such as sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, and dogs, etc.

       The signs and symptoms of brucellosis disease may include:

  • Fever that comes and goes
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Joint, muscle and back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Sweats
  • Weight loss
  • Appetite loss

       How do people get Brucellosis disease?

  • Eating or drinking unpasteurized/raw dairy products is the most common way to be infected with bacteria.
  • But the bacteria that causes brucellosis can also be spread through the air or direct contact with infected animals.
  • These bacteria can enter the body through open wounds or mucous membranes.
  • Brucellosis disease is more common in some parts of the world where people are more likely to consume unpasteurized goat cheese, sometimes called village cheese

       Complications of Brucellosis disease

  • The infection can affect almost all parts of the body – such as the heart, liver, central nervous system, and the reproductive system.
  • Health experts said one of the serious complications due to the disease can result in inflammed testicles, leading to infertility in men.
  • Other possible side effects of brucellosis include – arthritis, endocarditis (infection of the heart’s inner lining), encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), meningitis (inflammation of the membranes around your brain), etc.
  • The mortality rate for brucellosis is about 2 per cent.

       Treatment and prevention

  • Brucellosis disease is usually treated with antibiotics, including rifampin and doxycycline.
  • Recovery from the illness may take a few weeks to several months, depending on the timing of treatment and severity of the infection.