Brucellosis is a rare infectious disease that is caused by bacteria from animals. The disease can be caught if you consume food products from an infected animal such as unpasteurized milk, cheese, or other dairy products. You may also catch the disease through the air or through direct contact with infected animals. The most commonly infected with brucellosis include cattle, goats, pigs, dogs and sheep. In the United States, brucellosis is rare. However, around the rest of the world it apparently affects hundreds of thousands of people and animals.
Symptoms of Brucellosis
· Loss of appetite
· Pain in muscles, joints, or the back
· Recurrent fever
· Swelling of the scrotal area in men
· Swelling of the heart
· Swelling of the liver or spleen
· Neurological symptoms
· Chronic fatigue
Diagnosis. The disease is often confirmed by doing various tests that look for the bacteria in samples of blood or other bodily fluids. A biopsy of your liver tissue or bone marrow may be done to test for this. Another test may be a blood test that detects antibodies against the bacteria that are released by your body.
Treatment. If you test positive for brucellosis, you will most likely be put on antibiotics. The antibiotics you will receive will probably be a combination of doxycycline and Rifadin. These are often prescribed together for at least 6 to 8 weeks. Depending on how severe your condition is, it may take a few weeks to several months to recover.