What is brucellosis?

Brucellosis or Bang’s Disease is caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella.The disease is most commonly spread by ingestion of contaminated food such as raw meat and unpasteurized milk. The people most at risk of infection are those who work with animals and raw meat.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms are flu-like and are:

  • Loss of appetite;
  • Back pain;
  • Chills;
  • Abdominal and joint pain;
  • Weight loss and a very high temperature that drops suddenly and rises again suddenly;
  • Drowsiness;
  • Depression, headache and irritability may also be seen.
  • Cough and chest pains.

Symptoms usually last about 3-6 months, and sometimes more than 1 year, and depending on the body of the infected person, skin lesions may also appear , back pain or develop liver disease.

What causes it

People can become infected from already infected animals. The bacteria are transmitted through inhalation or contact with an open wound. This is why you are at greater risk of infection when you are often around animals such as dogs, goats and cattle.

The risk is particularly high in people who come into frequent contact with animal blood, urine or tissues. The placenta can become infected with the bacteria. You are also at risk if you assist animals in childbirth.

People who drink or eat raw animal products are also potentially at risk of infection. Unpasteurized milk and cheese, as well as raw meat, can contain the bacteria that cause the disease.

Fortunately, the disease is rarely transmitted from person to person. However, exposure to the bacteria can also occur through breastfeeding or sexual contact. It is not spread by casual contact with a pet. Infection in rare cases can be realized without contact with infected blood or tissue.

Treatment of brucellosis

Therapy with a single drug often leads to recurrence of the disease in a large percentage of cases, and therefore therapy with several antibiotics is prescribed.

A 6-week course of treatment with doxycycline and streptomycin, which penetrates into cell fluids, is administered. During the first 1-2 weeks after starting the treatment with antibiotics, a partial remission of symptoms is observed.

What are the possible complications?

Antibiotics do not always kill the bacteria that cause this disease. Your doctor may need to try a combination of several different antibiotics before the condition is finally cured. In some cases, the bacteria may continue to exist in the patient’s body despite treatment.

If treatment is not successful, Bang’s disease can lead to complications such as:

  • Encephalitis;
  • Bone and joint damage;
  • Endocarditis;
  • Meningitis.

Some of these complications can be fatal. Fortunately, deaths are extremely rare. Mortality is about 2% of all infected. Patients survive in most cases, although treatment is not always successful.

How to protect ourselves?

The disease is considered preventable. You just need to follow certain precautions to avoid infection:

  • Avoid eating raw meat or unpasteurized milk, cheese and ice cream.
  • Wear gloves and safety glasses when handling raw animal milk;

Wear protective clothing and gloves when assisting in the birth of the animals;

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