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Brucellosis: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help

About brucellosis

Brucellosis is a bacterial infection caused by brucella, and affecting the various organs of the body. The offending bacteria may enter the human body by direct contact with infected animal or animal products.

Brucellosis: Incidence, age and sex

Brucellosis is very seldom encountered in the general population and no clear cut gender bias is observed.

Signs and symptoms of brucellosis: Diagnosis

The clinical features are vague and include fever with chills, headache, fatigue, increased sweats and reduced appetite. An affected person may also experience joint and muscle aches and abdominal pain. Some persons may have very high fever at noon time. Brucellosis does not seem to be contagious since direct spread from person to person is not observed. However, this bacterial infection has high chances of spreading from a mother to the baby via breast milk. The culture of blood, urine or bone marrow may lead to isolation of the offending bacteria, thus helping in diagnosing the condition. Moreover, detection of brucellosis antigen in blood may help corroborate the diagnosis.

Causes and prevention of brucellosis

Brucellosis is caused by bacteria called brucella, which generally affects animals like cattle, goat, sheep, camel and dog. This infection can be transmitted to humans either through ingestion or direct contact with the infected animal or its products. Individuals working in slaughter houses, farmers and vets are at increased risk of contracting this infection. Certain preventive measures like refraining from consumption of unpasteurized milk and its products or using protective equipment while working among animals, may go a long way in averting brucellosis.

Brucellosis: Complications

The complications of brucellosis are not commonly encountered in affected individuals. However, longstanding infections may result in chronic fatigue. In some instances, the infection if left untreated, may spread to the brain causing meningitis or the heart causing endocarditis. Such infections in significant organs of the body may be potentially fatal.

Brucellosis: Treatment

The treatment of brucellosis includes antibiotic medications like doxycyline and rifampicin which may be used in combination for effective results. Drugs like analgesics and antipyretics may also be prescribed for symptomatic relief from pain and fever. The recovery after appropriate medication is fast. However, frequent recurrences may be encountered. The prognosis of brucellosis is good unless infection has progressed to involve the heart and the brain.