Brucellosis From Mayo Clinic

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Brucellosis Mayo Clinic Brucellosis from Mayoclinic Definition By Mayo Clinic staff Brucellosis is a serious bacterial disease that causes fever, joint pain and fatigue. Brucella, the bacteria that cause brucellosis, spread from animals to people, often via unpasteurized milk, cheese and other dairy products. Also known as Mediterranean fever or undulant fever, brucellosis is uncommon in the United States. Worldwide, brucellosis affects hundreds of thousands of people and animals in Mediterran
  Brucellosis Mayo Clinic   1  Brucellosis from Mayoclinic Definition By Mayo Clinic staff   Brucellosis is a serious bacterial disease that causes fever, joint pain and fatigue. Brucella,the bacteria that cause brucellosis, spread from animals to people, often via unpasteurizedmilk, cheese and other dairy products.Also known as Mediterranean fever or undulant fever, brucellosis is uncommon in theUnited States. Worldwide, brucellosis affects hundreds of thousands of people and animalsin Mediterranean countries and other areas each year. The bacteria can spread through theair or through direct contact with infected animals.Brucellosis can usually be treated successfully with antibiotics. Treatment takes severalweeks, however, and relapses are common. Avoiding unpasteurized dairy products andtaking precautions when working with animals or in a laboratory can help preventbrucellosis. Animals can be vaccinated against the disease. Symptoms By Mayo Clinic staff   Symptoms of brucellosis may show up anytime from a few days to a few months afteryou're infected with brucella, the bacteria that cause brucellosis. Signs and symptoms aresimilar to those of the flu and include:    Fever, often rising to 104 F (40 C) or more in the afternoon — a rising and falling(undulating) fever is one of the hallmarks of the disease    Chills    Sweats    Weakness    Fatigue    Joint, muscle and back pain    HeadacheBrucellosis symptoms may disappear for weeks or months and then return. In somepeople, brucellosis becomes chronic, with symptoms persisting for years, even aftertreatment. Long-term signs and symptoms include fatigue, fevers, arthritis and spondylitis — an inflammatory arthritis that affects the spine and nearby joints. When to see a doctor  Brucellosis can be hard to identify, especially in the early stages, when it often resembles  Brucellosis Mayo Clinic   2  the flu. See your doctor if you develop a rapidly rising fever, muscle aches or unusualweakness and have any risk factors for the disease, or if you have a persistent fever. Causes By Mayo Clinic staff   Brucellosis affects many wild and domestic animals. Cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, dogs,camels, wild boar and reindeer are especially prone to the disease. A form of brucellosisalso affects harbor seals, porpoises and certain whales.At least six species or strains of bacteria cause brucellosis in animals, but not all produceillness in humans. The bacteria spread from animals to people in three main ways:    Raw dairy products. Brucella bacteria in the milk of infected animals can spread tohumans in unpasteurized milk, ice cream, butter and cheeses. The bacteria can also betransmitted in raw or undercooked meat from infected animals.    Inhalation. Brucella bacteria spread easily in the air. Farmers, laboratory techniciansand slaughterhouse workers can inhale the bacteria.    Direct contact. Bacteria in the blood, semen or placenta of an infected animal canenter your bloodstream through a cut or other wound. Because normal contact withanimals — touching, brushing or playing — doesn't cause infection, people rarely getbrucellosis from their pets. Even so, people with weakened immune systems shouldavoid handling dogs known to have the disease.Brucellosis normally doesn't spread from person to person, but in a few cases, womenhave passed the disease to their infants during birth or through their breast milk. Rarely,brucellosis may spread through sexual activity or through contaminated blood or bonemarrow transfusions. Risk factors By Mayo Clinic staff   Brucellosis is rare in the United States, with fewer than 200 reported cases each year.These occur mainly in California and Texas.Other parts of the world have much higher rates of infection, especially the MediterraneanBasin — Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, the Near East and North Africa — Southand Central America, Mexico, parts of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.In addition to location, these factors may increase your risk of brucellosis:    Raw dairy foods. Because the United States has a federal domestic animal healthprogram, the chance of infection from U.S. dairy products is low. Unpasteurized goatmilk products imported from Mexico are the main source of brucellosis in the UnitedStates. Travelers who eat unpasteurized dairy products in countries where brucellosis iscommon are at high risk of infection. Soft goat cheeses common in Mediterranean  Brucellosis Mayo Clinic   3  countries are especially likely to contain brucella bacteria. Exotic foods, such as rawcamel's milk, sheep placenta and reindeer meat, also may be contaminated. In theUnited States, people who eat unpasteurized cheeses or who travel to Mexico are at riskof getting brucellosis.    Animal-related occupation. People who routinely work with animals, includingveterinarians, dairy farmers, ranchers and slaughterhouse workers, are at especiallyhigh risk.    Hunting. Hunters may become infected through skin wounds or by eating theundercooked meat of infected animals.    Laboratory work. Brucellosis is the most common bacterial infection among peoplewho work in laboratories where infectious organisms are grown. Lab workers mayaccidentally inhale the bacteria or become infected from spilled blood. Complications By Mayo Clinic staff   Brucellosis can affect almost any part of your body, including your reproductive system,liver, heart and central nervous system. Chronic brucellosis may cause complications in just one organ or throughout your body. Possible complications include:    Infection of the heart's inner lining (endocarditis). This is one of the most seriouscomplications of brucellosis. Untreated endocarditis can damage or destroy the heartvalves and is the leading cause of brucellosis-related deaths.    Arthritis. Osteoarthritis is marked by pain, stiffness and swelling in your joints,especially the knees, hips, ankles, wrists and spine. Spondylitis — inflammation of the joints between the bones (vertebrae) of your spine or between your spine and pelvis —  can be particularly hard to treat and may cause lasting damage.    Inflammation and infection of the testicles (epididymo-orchitis). The bacteriathat cause brucellosis can infect the epididymis, the coiled tube that connects the vasdeferens and the testicle. From there, the infection may spread to the testicle itself,causing swelling and pain, which may be severe. Brucellosis can also affect the prostategland and kidneys.    Anemia. Anemia, in which you don't have enough healthy red blood cells, can causepale skin, fatigue and shortness of breath.    Skin rashes. Rashes and other skin problems are a rare complication of brucellosis.    Miscarriage. Brucellosis may cause early pregnancy loss in some women.    Hepatitis. Brucellosis can cause this serious liver disease, which, if not treated, canlead to liver scarring (cirrhosis) and ultimately to liver failure.      Central nervous system infections. These include potentially life-threateningillnesses such as meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brainand spinal cord, and encephalitis, inflammation of the brain itself.  Brucellosis Mayo Clinic   4  Preparing for your appointment By Mayo Clinic staff   If you suspect that you have brucellosis, you're likely to start by seeing your family doctoror a general practitioner. You may be referred to an infectious disease specialist. Adiagnosis of brucellosis depends on understanding if, how and when you were exposed tothe bacteria that cause the disease. You can help your doctor by being prepared with asmuch information as possible.Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot of ground to cover, it'sa good idea to be well prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help youget ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor. What you can do      Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make theappointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance.    Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seemunrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.    Write down key personal information, including any recent travel outside the UnitedStates, consumption of unpasteurized dairy products or other suspected exposures.    Make a list of all medications, as well as any vitamins or supplements, that you'retaking.    Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult toabsorb all the information provided during an appointment. Someone who accompaniesyou may remember something that you missed or forgot.    Write down questions to ask your doctor.Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing questions ahead of time will help youmake the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to leastimportant in case time runs out. What to expect from your doctor  Your doctor may ask:    When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?    Have you eaten raw (unpasteurized) dairy products, such as goat cheese?    Does your job involve contact with cattle, goats, pigs or other animals or with animaltissues?    Have you traveled outside the United States in the past year?    Do you work in a lab where infectious organisms are present?
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